The chief executives of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota NA and the UAW will appear together today at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Rick Wagoner, Alan Mulally, Tom LaSorda, Jim Press and Ron Gettelfinger will be testifying on the subject of new fuel economy regulations. All the car-makers dislike the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards because it only manipulates the supply side of the equation while doing nothing to stimulate demand for more efficient cars.

Prior to the hearing today the companies have been exchanging notes to make sure that they're all on the same page. While they will emphasize their efforts on flex-fuel vehicles, hybrids and other alternative power-plants, they are likely to face a somewhat more hostile audience today than in the past. Even Republicans like Sen. Ted Stevens, who have traditionally been strongly opposed to new fuel economy standards are now changing their tune. GM wants to talk about why current CAFE standards haven't done much and what can be done differently this time around. Toyota also wants to see an increased emphasis on mass transit as part of the solution. It should be a pretty contentious meeting, and we'll follow up with highlights after the smoke clears.

[Source: Detroit News]

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