Fuel efficiency boost wins unanimous Senate support
June 22, 2007
The measure would require automakers to raise fuel economy for cars, pickup trucks and SUVs to 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020. It will be the first time pickups and SUVs would be subject to the same fuel standards as cars. The current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard is 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for pickups and SUVs.
The deal was brokered between California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has long fought for improvement in CAFE standards, and Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens, a longtime champion of the oil industry who expressed reservations about the bill in early May. To reach agreement, Feinstein had to jettison a provision that would have required a 4 percent annual increase in fuel economy standards from 2020 to 2030.
The race for the title of "Largest carbon dioxide emitter" pits the United States versus China. The United States had a large head start but China is expected to surpass it in emissions this year or next.
According to reports, the fuel efficiency won unanimous support in a voice vote, but the auto industry wasn't pleased.
"This isn't a compromise, this is lipstick on a pig," one auto industry lobbyist told FOX News.
The energy bill passed 65-27 but without an amendment that would have levied around $30 billion in taxes on the oil industry for renewable energy development.
This article is based on reports from Congressional Quarterly and Fox News.