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TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY ISSUES STATEMENT ON NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE STUDY ON AUTO FUEL ECONOMY

TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY ISSUES STATEMENT ON NATIONAL ACADEMY OF
 SCIENCE STUDY ON AUTO FUEL ECONOMY
 WASHINGTON, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card Jr. on the National Academy of Sciences Study on Auto Fuel Economy:
 I am pleased that the National Academy of Sciences has completed its comprehensive analysis of the potential to improve passenger car and light truck fuel economy between now and the year 2006. The Academy's impartial study has made an excellent contribution to the national debate on fuel economy.
 This report defines the range of what is technically achievable through the early years of the 21st century. Further, the study recognizes that these technically achievable fuel economy estimates form an upper limit of what is practically achievable in that time frame. The study also notes that the final balancing of technical capability, costs to consumers and manufacturers, competitiveness and employment impacts, safety, affordability, environmental concerns and other considerations are "appropriately the domain of the political process."
 In estimating fuel economy potential, the report points out that consumer desire for vehicles of appropriate size and power must be taken into account. It recognizes that there is likely to be a safety cost if substantial weight reduction is used to improve fuel economy.
 The study concludes that the existing system of setting fuel economy standards has serious defects. It recognizes that this system is increasingly at odds with market signals, that it has "perverse" economic effects, that it does not apply equivalent challenges to all manufacturers and that it has operated to the detriment of the domestic auto companies.
 -0- 4/7/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Marx or Bill Mosley of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 202-366-5580/ CO: U.S. Department of Transportation; National Academy of Sciences ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU: EXE


DS -- DC041 -- 5987 04/07/92 17:24 EDT
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Date:Apr 7, 1992
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