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UAW President Ron Gettelfinger Respond To Detroit Project And the Natural Resources Defense Council

DETROIT, May 7, 2003 -- The following is a statement from UAW President Ron Gettelfinger in response to advertisements released today by the Detroit Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council:

"The production of greener, cleaner cars is a worthy goal. But the Detroit Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council mislead the public when they focus all their ire on Detroit.

"Fuel efficiency is an industry-wide problem which demands an industry- wide solution. The Big Three automakers who are attacked in the ads launched today are actually leading industry efforts to develop fuel cells and other long-range solutions, while working in the short-range to bring hybrid vehicles -- including hybrid SUVs -- into the marketplace. Meanwhile, Asian and European automakers are aggressively marketing their own versions of the pick-ups, SUVs and other low-mileage vehicles that Arianna Huffington and others love to hate.

"Consumers and citizens have a right to demand environmentally responsible products. Government has a role to play in setting standards that are fair to the entire industry, and which do not discriminate against domestic manufacturers that employ hundreds of thousands of American workers.

"That's why the UAW supports economically and technologically feasible improvements in fuel economy. The 40 mile-per-gallon standard demanded by the Detroit Project fails that test. It's not feasible on a fleet-wide basis, and it would threaten good-paying auto industry jobs in communities all over the United States.

"The UAW supports balanced public policy initiatives to protect jobs and the environment, including tax incentives for domestically-produced advanced technology vehicles, increased government aid for mass transit, steps to reduce urban sprawl, and the reduction of sulfur emissions in gasoline."