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Relaxation of Mileage Standard

October 10, 1985

It could be done! Chrysler was able to meet the fuel mileage standard of 27.5 m.p.g., but Ford and General Motors decided they wouldn't jeopardize the sale of their larger cars by honoring this directive. They were able to get Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole to relax this standard to fit their requirements--26 m.p.g. Just another instance where we are reminded of the fact that Big Business is in control of our government.

The fuel economy standards were set up after the horrible energy shortage scare in 1974. Emphasis was directed toward establishing controls and ideas that would conserve these precious resources. Our country as well as the rest of the world was gravely concerned--and rightly so.

From this came much publicity regarding new types of motors for autos--electric, and motors powered by fuels other than those produced from oil, alcohol, corn oil, oil from shale mining, and even methane fuel recycled from garbage.

When the 27.5 standard was established the exporters from Germany and Japan had no problem because their cars were already well within this figure. And Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors were not critical, at that time, of that standard. The feeling was that it was something that had to be done, the figure was realistic, and we can do it.

So, the same old story, how soon we forget. The long lines at the gas pumps and the increase in gas prices from 40 cents a gallon to $1.20 in less than 8 years! Almost all the publicity in relation to new ideas or new types of fuel have died a slow death. Now there seems to be plenty of gas, so what if the price has tripled, as long as it is available, who really cares about the price?

What this entire matter really represents is just another situation where the element of greed far overshadows common sense and any consideration for the future health of our country.

CLARENCE W. HAYWARD

Los Angeles

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