Car dealer says customers demand higher cafe standards
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07/16/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Beginning today, a $1-million print and radio ad campaign by Detroit’s automakers and Toyota to stave off an increase in auto fuel economy begins in the nation’s capital.

It comes on the heels of the Senate passing legislation last month that would require a 40 percent increase in corporate average fuel economy, or CAFÉ to 35 miles per gallon from cars and trucks combined by 2020 – a provision that automakers says could cost them as much as $85-million.

The new ad campaign, to run in Washington, D.C., newspapers like The Hill and Roll Call, reportedly will be more subtle than previously produced ads warning about the dangers of CAFÉ standards on Americans' ability to pay for such increases.

Adam Lee is President of Lee Auto Malls, which sells eight car brands at 11 dealerships throughout Southern Maine. He says he’s not certain why it should cost the Big 3 plus Toyota so much money to raise CAFÉ standards.

Lee is an outspoken advocate for increasing the corporate average fuel economy standards.

The U.S. Senate last month passed legislation increasing CAFÉ standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. However, it needs to get through the House of Representatives. Whether the bill will get approval without significant amendments remains to be seen.

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