Chrysler joins green group; Cerberus fights CAFE changes

Chrysler group announced Wednesday that it was going green by joining United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of industries working to decrease greenhouse gases to combat global warming. It's part of Chrysler's overall attempt to reduce its products' fuel use and pollution output. One of USCAP's recent pushes has been to strongly support the proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) changes that would force automakers' to increase their products' fuel efficiency.

But Cerberus, the private equity firm buying 80% of the carmaker, says the proposed CAFE changes would virtually kill Chrysler by forcing it to implement expensive new technologies which would price their cars out of the market. Cerberus is part of a huge lobbying effort on Capitol Hill opposing the new standards.

In response, Market Watch quotes Chrysler spokesperson Shawn Morgan as saying "we know there will be an (CAFE) increase and we support it -- we just need to make sure it's technically feasible."

Guess that's what happens when you have a three-headed dog for boss. Makes you wonder what the third head is up to. Oh yeah, it's chasing cats.

Read Chrysler's press release about joining USCAP after the jump.

Chrysler Group Joins U.S. Climate Action Partnership

Company Endorses Mandatory Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Washington, D.C., Jun 27, 2007 - Chrysler Group announced today its membership with the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), endorsing and participating in the non-partisan group's call for economy-wide mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

USCAP, a partnership of companies and non-government organizations, issued earlier this year a blueprint of principles and recommendations for establishing a multi-sector, market-driven program to swiftly slow, stop and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. The group 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 countries, including the developing world.

"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, President and CEO, Chrysler Group. "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.

"We look forward to working with the USCAP members in formulating a system to control greenhouse gas emissions in a way that not just addresses the supply of energy-efficient products and commodities, but also spurs demand for them."

Consistent with USCAP's principles, Chrysler Group believes that mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions can be imposed without economic harm and lead to economic opportunities if done across the economy and with provisions to mitigate costs. Furthermore, the company advocates an approach that leverages the competitive marketplace as the best solution to this challenge.

LaSorda testified before Congress in March that "if we intend to make meaningful progress in reducing petroleum consumption in this country, in addition to vehicle technology improvements, we look to the Federal Government to establish policies that address consumer demand and bend the bias of transportation fuels toward lower carbon alternatives."

Chrysler Group Fuel-efficiency Initiatives
Chrysler Group's advanced propulsion technology umbrella offers a diverse portfolio of fuel-saving technologies – including efficient gasoline engines, hybrids, clean diesels, flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) and biodiesel compatibility – that reduce petroleum consumption and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of a $3 billion investment announced in February to produce more fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and axles, last week the company further detailed its plans to boost fuel economy across its entire vehicle lineup. Chrysler Group fuel-saving initiatives include developing mild-hybrid technology and expanding the company's two-mode hybrid and BLUETEC clean-diesel programs. The company will also introduce new fuel-efficient six- and eight-cylinder gasoline engines with Multi-displacement System (MDS) technology and dual-clutch transmission technology.

In addition to the company's efforts to displace petroleum through advanced technologies, Chrysler group has produced more than 1.5 million FFVs – passenger cars and trucks capable of running on E85 or biodiesel. The company will produce an additional 250,000 FFVs in 2007 and approximately 500,000 in 2008. Chrysler Group stands ready to make half of its annual vehicle production FFVs by 2012.

As the leader in the development of clean diesel technologies, all Chrysler Group diesel vehicles are approved for use with biodiesel – a clean renewable diesel fuel made from vegetable oils. The company is working with industry partners on a national standard for B20 (20 percent biodiesel) that can be used in all diesel engines.

Environmental Commitment
Chrysler Group's environmental commitment pledges to protect the health of local communities, the country's natural resources and the global environment overall by continuously improving the environmental performance of its products and operations.

In order to reduce CO2 emissions at manufacturing facilities, the Chrysler Group strives to use energy as efficiently as possible and utilize low-carbon energy sources wherever possible. The company's manufacturing facilities reduced absolute CO2 emissions by 17.2 percent from 2002 to 2006. Greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle produced decreased by 4.9 percent during that time period. Chrysler Group's North American facilities reduced annual energy usage by more than 18.3 percent from 2002 levels, and in 2006, consumed 14.5 percent less energy per vehicle produced than in 2002.

Chrysler Group
The Chrysler Group, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., employs approximately 80,375 people around the world and produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Mopar® brand vehicles and products. Total sales worldwide in 2006 were 2.7 million vehicles, with $62 billion in revenue. Sales outside of North America were the highest in a decade with an increase of 15 percent over 2005. On the heels of the company's record product launch year (Chrysler Group launched 10 all-new vehicles in 2006), the company plans to extend that streak with eight all-new products in 2007. Its product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Charger. Chrysler Group's advanced propulsion technology includes efficient gasoline engines, hybrids, clean diesels, flex-fuel vehicles and biodiesel capability. The DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund, the Company's philanthropic arm, gave $23.6 million in grants in 2006.

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