Chrysler ford unite to tackle greenhouse gas concerns

Chrysler, Ford Unite to Tackle Greenhouse Gas Concerns

The Chrysler Group and the Ford Motor Co. recently said that they had joined a group calling for mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Auburn Hills-unit of German DaimlerChrysler AG and the Dearborn automaker are joining the General Motors Corp. as the first automotive members of the United States Climate Action Partnership. The organization consists of a group of huge businesses and environmental groups in the United States. Additionally, the Toyota Motor Co. spokeswoman Martha Voss said that the automaker was also considering joining the group. Other members of the USCAP include Midland-based Dow Chemical, Alcoa, Duke Energy, PepsiCo, BP America Inc. and the Nature Conservancy.

The USCAP has recommended that Congress establish short- and mid-term emission reduction targets; a national program to accelerate technology research, development and deployment; and approaches to encourage action by other nations.

“Now is the time for advancing a national approach to climate change where all of us, individuals, industry and government – take action toward reducing emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Tom LaSorda, the Chrysler Group’s president and CEO. “We are proud to be an active member with USCAP in the development of climate policy that addresses energy use and emissions from all sectors of the U.S. economy, and ultimately drives increased energy efficiency.”

Meanwhile, Ford said that its decision to join the group is part of its commitment to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions “by taking an integrated approach that includes the vehicle, plus the fuel, plus the driver.” Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO, has this to say: “We are at a critical stage in the conversation on climate change, energy consumption and environmental protection.”

Automakers are trying to boost their green offers in the wake of alarming need for tougher fuel economy mandates on Capitol Hill. Last week, the Senate voted 65-27 to require automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles by 40 percent by 2020, to a combined 35 miles per gallon for passenger cars and light trucks.

Those mandates could cost the industry tens of billions of dollars. They also could injure Chrysler the most since about 70 percent of its sales are sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks. Chrysler has said that the Senate bill could add $6,700 per vehicle and potentially force it out of business.

According to the automakers, the fuel mandates would necessitate costly production. Ford engines, the Mercury cold air intake, and other auto parts are required to complement the mileage of the product lines.

The Chrysler Group called for mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions that can be imposed “without economic harm and lead to economic opportunities if done across the economy and with provisions to mitigate costs.” As part of Chrysler’s $3 billion investment to produce more fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and axles, the Auburn Hills automaker said last week that it would boost fuel economy across its entire vehicle lineup.

In April, the Cerberus Capital Management LP said that it would buy 80.1 percent of Chrysler from DaimlerChrysler in a $7.4 billion deal that is expected to close soon. That would mark the end of auto industry’s ‘perfect marriage.’ After the divorce, Chrysler is expected to entertain more dramatic plans to alleviate its standing in the industry.

While many view the effects of global warming to be more radical, the scientific consensus on climatic changes related to global warming is that the average temperature of the Earth has increased between 0.4 and 0.8 °C over the past century. Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate carrying out global warming research have predicted that average global temperatures could go between 1.4 and 5.8 °C by the year 2100.

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