By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hearings on new fuel efficiency standards for US cars drew hundreds of people today to Philadelphia to testify.  But almost all of them agreed with each other.

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“It’s vital that we enact these CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) and greenhouse gas standards,” said Pennsylvania state representative Greg Vitali (D-Delaware County), taking a position that was echoed many times over, for three recurring reasons: “climate change, national security, and saving consumers money.”

Witnesses cited estimates that the new standards will save four billion barrels of oil, keep two billion metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, and save drivers collectively some $400 billion.

The sole naysayer was William Willis of the National Automobile Dealers Association:

“Manufacturers can develop the engineering to comply with the proposal, but at what cost?”

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Most carmakers support the new standards, but Willis says they proposed changes will increase the price of a new car.



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