ENERGY POLICY

Should auto manufacturers be required to build cars that get at least 45 miles per gallon? Or is the current requirement of a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) of 27.5 m.p.g. sufficient to save petroleum and protect the environment? There are sharply different views in this campaign. BUSH

He opposes any increase in the current standard.

The president charges that abruptly boosting mileage requirements would result in small, unsafe cars, and would hamper US economic recovery. As the Republican platform states: "Highway deaths have dropped to an all-time low.... This progress would be wiped out by the Democrats' draconian plan for higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. [A 45 m.p.g. standard] means unsafe vehicles, reduced consumer choice, higher car costs, and a loss of 300,000 jobs in the auto industry here at home." CLINTON

Wants significantly higher standards for automakers: 40 m.p.g. by the year 2000, and 45 m.p.g. by 2015.

Robert Shapiro, an economic adviser to Governor Clinton, says higher standards have three favorable impacts on the United States.

They will save oil, making the US more energy independent. They will protect the environment by sending fewer pollutants into the air. And they will improve America's industrial competitiveness. He denies Americans would be thrown out of work, arguing that environmental quality and growth can go together. PEROT

Did not respond to a request for his specific views on CAFE, and ducked the issue during the final presidential debate.

In his book, "United We Stand: How We Can Take Back Our Country," he says: "Conservation makes basic economic sense. Pollution equals waste.... We should increase motor fuel taxes, which will help reduce this dependency [on imports] and give us money to create jobs."

As president, Perot says: "I will propose a 10-cent increase in the gasoline tax for each of the next five years." Unless America cuts back oil use, it can be "held hostage to oil sheiks and petty dictators," he says.

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