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Closed meeting at Solidarity House could result in new CAFE rules

The United Auto Workers is hosting an important, unpublicized meeting about CAFE standards today at Solidarity House in Detroit.  

CAFE governs car fuel efficiency in the U.S.

The meeting could help the government decide how fuel efficient cars must be by the year 2025. 

The UAW, Detroit car companies, the federal government, and environmental groups will likely try to reach a compromise on future CAFE requirements, somewhere between a 47 and 62 miles per gallon average.    

Harley Shaiken teaches labor relations at the University of California-Berkley.  He says stakeholders probably kept the meeting private to encourage a candid discussion of opinions on a controversial issue.

" They don’t want to play to a larger audience," he suggests.  "They want to evaluate technical issues, they want a meeting where they have a lot of open opinion. "

Car companies and the UAW are worried that a too aggressive CAFE requirement will mean much more expensive cars.  That could hurt profits and cause job losses. 

The Center for Automotive Research estimates it would add more than $6,000 to the price of a new car if the government imposes the higher 62 miles per gallon average on the U.S. car industry.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.