Dave McCurdy

Dave McCurdy, a former member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma, is president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

A new world order: Automakers and Copenhagen

As world leaders meet in Copenhagen to seek consensus on ways to reduce carbon emissions, the world’s automakers are on the doorstep of a revolutionary change in how the vehicles we all depend on are designed and powered. From batteries, to plug-in hybrids, to next generation biofuels, clean diesels and hydrogen powered autos, to dramatic improvements in old combustion technology, automakers are doing more than any other industry to bring the change needed to avoid a potential climate crisis — and they do so willingly. More so now than ever, automakers realize that reducing the automobile’s dependence on fossil fuels is a necessity for …

The fuel economy decision

‘Staying viable and competitive’

Today is a good day. At the Auto Alliance, an association representing major automakers, we’re happy to hear the Obama administration’s announcement of a national program to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency. In fact, over the past two years we’ve been meeting and working with environmental leaders to find just this kind of smart measure that meets our shared goals. The auto industry has been ahead of the curve when it comes to rolling out new technologies and collaborating with policymakers to help tackle climate change. We already offer 130 models that get at least 30 MPG, …

Fleeting thoughts

Modernizing the auto fleet will benefit the earth and the economy

The auto industry and its customers are suffering from unprecedented market conditions. Within the past six months, the industry has been hit with three unforeseen market problems: $4 per gallon gasoline, frozen credit markets, and, now, a recession that is spurring job losses and dampening consumer confidence. These factors combined to drive down U.S. new vehicle sales by 18 percent in 2008 (compared to annual sales in 2007) -- this equals nearly 2.9 million fewer cars and trucks sold in our nation in 2008. As Congress and the Obama administration consider solutions to our economic problems and long-term challenges of enhancing energy security and fighting global warming, modernizing our nation's automotive fleet would go a long way toward accomplishing those goals. Currently there are nearly 250 million cars and trucks on American roads and highways. Many of these are older vehicles, manufactured prior to enactment of emissions standards that help make the new vehicles sold today dramatically cleaner and better for our air quality. In the industry, we often say that the best thing you can due to reduce emissions is to purchase a new car. Why? Because today's vehicles are 99 percent cleaner than vehicles of the 1970s, thanks to a dramatic reduction in smog-forming emissions. In fact, in recognition of the progress automakers have made in reducing smog-forming emissions, California has gone so far as to eliminate smog checks for new vehicles.