Auto Suppliers, Michigan Community, Environmental Leaders See Benefits of New Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards

DETROIT, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan community and environmental leaders praised today's announcement of improved fuel economy and tailpipe emissions standards, while key auto suppliers say they are ready to provide the technology needed to help automakers meet the new requirements.

"Automakers are looking for solutions that provide better fuel economy and reduce emissions while maintaining performance," said Erika Nielsen, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at BorgWarner, a global auto supplier headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. "That means new opportunities for our company, because our turbochargers, variable cam timing, dual clutch transmission modules and other powertrain technologies can help provide cleaner vehicles while maintaining or improving performance." 

"Over the past several years, we've developed a new industry in Western Michigan: Cutting edge battery technology to power the next generation of clean cars and trucks," said Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell.  "Five years ago, that technology was being imported from Japan. Now we're building it here in the United States.  That's what happens when you combine smart public policy with Michigan's private-sector auto expertise."

"Investing in cleaner, more efficient vehicles is vital for our outdoor heritage here in the Great Lakes," said Andy Buchsbaum, Director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center.  "And it's directly tied to the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry, which is crucial for the state of Michigan. The auto industry has added 35,000 jobs in Michigan since 2009, and if you look at what automakers are saying about their product and investment announcements, nearly all of those jobs are linked to high-mileage, lower emissions vehicles."

"These new standards matter for the city of Detroit. Not only are plants like Jefferson North adding back jobs to build new cleaner cars and trucks, but more fuel efficient vehicles mean less pollution, improved health for families, and savings at the pump," said Simone Lightfoot, Climate Equity and Sustainability Manager, Detroit Branch NAACP. "It's a great example of how federal public policy can directly improve the economic and environmental challenges facing our urban centers."

"This is a major step towards reducing the carbon pollution that causes climate change," said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. "We're cutting U.S. oil imports by one-third and saving three million barrels per day.  So instead of sending money to the Mideast, we can invest in clean technology and Michigan jobs here in the Midwest."

"These standards are a massive step forward in curtailing our reliance on oil and reducing carbon emissions," said Tiffany Ingram, Midwest Advocacy Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The money saved at the pump will help Michigan families to the tune of $1.1 billion a year in 2030."  

The new standards announced today by the Obama administration, building on bipartisan backing for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions, were crafted with support from 13 automakers, automotive suppliers, state and federal regulators, the UAW and environmental groups. In preparation for them, automakers and suppliers have invested in technology needed to produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Overall, the U.S. auto industry has added 236,000 jobs since the industry hit its low point in June of 2009.

DrivingGrowth.org, a website that tracks the revitalization of the U.S. auto industry, is sponsored by three leading U.S. environmental organizations: The Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. A video describing BorgWarner's contribution to fuel efficiency and lower emissions is available on the site at http://www.drivinggrowth.org/driving-growth-in-mi-borgwarner/

Contact: Roger Kerson, 734.929.2875, roger@rkcommunications.net

SOURCE DrivingGrowth.org



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