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Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General, Six Other States Say Fuel Efficiency Should Be Condition Of Financial Aid To Auto Industry

November 17, 2008

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today signed on to a letter with six other attorneys general calling on Congress to require that the auto industry accept greenhouse gas legislation as a condition of any federal financial aid.

In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Blumenthal and his colleagues said they fully support a requirement that any aid to companies like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford be subject to converting their automobile fleet to meet the nation's current and future energy and environmental needs, including reducing the carbon footprint of their vehicles.

The attorneys general said the financial support should also require that the auto manufacturers abandon their opposition to California's greenhouse gas emission standards for new motor vehicles that have been adopted by states across the nation -- including Connecticut.

Connecticut and more than a dozen other states have intervened in California's pending lawsuits seeking to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to act on a waiver request that would allow California -- and then other states -- to enforce stronger anti-pollution standards for automobiles.

Auto makers have been vehemently fighting state efforts to adopt more stringent fuel-efficiency standards, spending millions of dollars on expert witnesses and legal fees.

Blumenthal said, "The auto industry -- after stubbornly spending millions to fight state efforts to adopt reasonable fuel-efficiency standards -- now asks for federal taxpayers to bail them out of financial doom. Congress must use this historic opportunity to secure a promise from auto makers: Protect our future and we will protect yours. Agree to produce cleaner, fuel-efficient cars and we will provide prudent and practical financial aid necessary for the survival of our auto industry."

The states of Vermont, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Rhode Island also signed on to the letter.