DETROIT—Ford Motor Co. and the UAW were among the major automotive organizations to oppose a rollback of national fuel economy standards during a public hearing Sept. 25 with federal officials.
The auto maker and labor union said a proposed freeze of the Obama administration's 2017-25 fuel economy standards at 2020 levels could be detrimental to the American automotive industry and the environment.
"Let me be clear: We do not support standing still," Bob Holycross, Ford global director, Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters, said during a joint hearing in Dearborn, Mich., between NHTSA and the EPA. "Clean-car standards should increase year over year, with the inclusion of provisions that promote ongoing investment in technology that will further drive greenhouse-gas reductions."
Supporters of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule have argued the current standards do not address today's auto market of lower gas prices, shift to utility vehicles and low adoption of alternative vehicles.
Holycross and Jennifer Kelly, a research director at the UAW, who called fuel efficiency the "auto industry's future," were among the more than 150 people expected to speak at the hearing, which lasted roughly seven hours.
Stephen Bartoli, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vice president—global fuel economy and GHG emissions, voiced support for modernizing, not freezing, the standards—similar to comments from General Motors and other industry trade groups.