Energy Bill Deal Due Today
The Detroit News reports that the House and Senate are close to cutting a deal on the bill that will determine what kind of cars automakers will be building for the next 15 years or so. Apparently, everybody's cool with a 35mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard and all the little details, like keeping separate standards for cars and "light trucks." Which is just as well, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants the whole thing done and dusted by next Wednesday, when members burn some jet fuel to attend the United Nations Climate Change shindig in Bali. The DTN identifies the final hurdle: ethanol mileage credits. That's the creative caveat that allows manufacturers to claim higher mileage for E85 compatible vehicles– even though a tiny fraction ever fill-up with the stuff. "Automakers contend the credits are necessary to spur increased availability of ethanol that will help reduce the country's reliance on foreign oil," the DTN dutifully reports. No word on whether the Porsche loophole– giving carmakers selling less than 60k vehicles stateside a pass on CAFE regs– remains intact.
[Interview with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers' Charles Territo below.]