UAW workers back House bill on fuel standards
By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – Members of the United Auto Workers and several politicians gathered in downtown St. Louis this morning (Wednesday) to support a House bill on federal fuel standards.
The Hill-Terry bill would require light trucks to get 32 miles per gallon by
2022 and cars, 35 miles per gallon by the same year.
The Senate passed tougher standards in June requiring both cars and trucks to get 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill voted against that bill and says the Hill-Terry approach improves fuel economy and protects jobs.
"There's really two things that define who we are us as a country in terms of our success," McCaskill said "One, is the middle class and two, is American manufacturing, and this is what this is about."
Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan praised the Hill-Terry bill for placing different standards on cars and trucks.
But critics, including the Public Interest Research Group, say the proposed standards are far below what they should be.
PIRG spokesman Ben Schreiber says lower standards will not help the auto industry.
"The auto industry is already hurting," Schreiber said. "They're hemorrhaging jobs and they're hemorrhaging jobs because they're not producing the cars that Americans want. Americans want fuel-efficient jobs, and until they realize that the auto industry is going to continue to lose market share."
But backers of the Hill-Terry bill says tougher fuel standards would jeopardize jobs in the auto industry.