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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release July 27, 2000


I commend Ford Motor Company's announcement today that it intends to improve average fuel economy of its SUV fleet by 25 percent. This effort provides further evidence that we can protect our environment even as we create jobs and spur economic growth.

A number of the key hybrid technologies that will make the 25 percent fuel economy improvement possible were developed under the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program, a partnership we forged with Daimler-Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford to achieve just the sort of progress announced today.

In addition to PNGV, I announced earlier this year a similar effort with major truck manufacturers -- the 21st Century Trucks Initiative -- to improve fuel economy and environmental standards for heavier commercial vehicles.

The benefits of these technologies -- in improved gas mileage, reduced dependence on foreign oil, and a cleaner environment -- are overwhelming. But we can do more. Unfortunately, Congress has refused to act on our package of consumer tax credits -- including credits of up to $4,000 for consumers to purchase the next generation of fuel efficient vehicles. I call on Congress to pass these tax incentives and to fully fund a PNGV program that is clearly delivering real benefits for the American people.