Study: Higher CAFE means jobs
Auto industry would add 24,000
The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that higher standards would shift money that would be spent on fuel to advanced-technology production. Like other environmental activists, the group wants Congress to boost fuel economy standards more than 40 percent in a decade.
The study's findings conflict with warnings by automakers and autoworkers that sharply higher standards, without government incentives for new technology, would close plants and kill jobs.
Maine auto dealer Adam Lee took part in the study's release last week. He predicted that the Detroit 3 will decline further if government doesn't force them to build more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Lee is president of Lee Auto Malls, which has 11 dealerships in Maine.
He said sales of the fuel-efficient Prius hybrid at his Toyota dealership nearly doubled in the past year.
By contrast, Lee said, his Chrysler group dealerships rely heavily on truck sales. Those dealerships are steadily declining and require fewer employees, he said.
The Union of Concerned Scientists' study builds on a similar analysis from 2005. David Friedman, the group's clean-vehicles research director, said the study uses a widely accepted model based on government economic data.
The study assumes that Congress will require new cars and trucks to average 35 mpg by 2018. A House bill backed by environmental groups includes that provision.
The report projects that higher standards would create 370,000 jobs by 2030. They include jobs developing and producing fuel-saving technology for vehicles, it says.
The study assumes that if consumers spend less on costly gasoline, they will use the extra money for shopping, home improvements, dining out, entertainment and similar purchases.
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