In response to the rumored deal of principles for the Auto Industry Bailout, Greenpeace USA Global Warming Campaign Director Steven Biel released the following statement:
“Should Congress bail out the auto companies, they should require Detroit to make real, significant changes in the way they do business, not just small tweaks around the edges, like cutting executive salaries and selling corporate jets.
“At a minimum, Congress should institute the following changes as a condition of any bailout:
• Increase fuel economy standards to at least 50 mpg by 2028.
• Put 1 million plug-in hybrids==cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon==on the road by 2015.
• Establish a national standard for tailpipe global warming emissions modeled on the California clean cars program.
“These are the dramatic actions that will not only push Detroit to finally embrace the innovations needed to survive, but to break America’s dependence on oil, spur the economy, and solve global warming.
“America's auto industry is in trouble today because of decades of short-sighted failure to invest in innovation and efficiency. From seat belts to air bags to fuel economy to rear view mirrors, the auto industry has opposed innovation at every step. Even today, they are literally suing the American people to get off the hook for clean cars standards passed in 14 states.
“In addition, the auto industry bailout shouldn't be funded through general taxpayer revenue but by taxing the people who have been making the most money from America's addiction to oil, the oil industry.
“Anything less than these steps would let this failing industry off the hook and fail to deliver the reforms the auto industry and America needs to thrive in the 21st Century.”
VVPR info: CONTACT: Steven Biel, Greenpeace USA Global Warming Campaign Director, 202.669.9162; Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace Press Officer, 970.690.2728