Energy Bill Deal Due Today

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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.]

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  • Donal Donal on Nov 28, 2007

    I watched Emerald Forest again over Thanksgiving. At some point, Bill asks Wanadi, the chief of the Invisibles, to order Bill's son to return with him to the outside world. Wanadi replies: "If I tell a man to do what he does not want to do, then I am no longer chief." This seems to be the attitude of our leaders. They can't risk telling us the truth, or anything that might be spun against them. They learn to lie with a straight face.

  • Carlisimo Carlisimo on Nov 28, 2007

    They're going to keep light truck standards separate? How do they expect this to actually decrease overall fleet mileage??

  • 50merc 50merc on Nov 28, 2007

    I haven't seen "Emerald Forest," but if you'd like to see a movie that reveals a lot about what is involved in political leadership and followership, watch "The Flim-Flam Man."

  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on Nov 28, 2007

    The auto industry is always whining about CAFE. The truth is: it's very favorable for the industry. Think about the alternative (as in Europe): sky high license fees and sky high gas taxes, forcing everybody but the rich to drive tiny vehicles. The American auto industry has a sweet deal with CAFE, they just need to stop whining and start delivering vehicles with good fuel economy. Those vehicles are allowed to be large, they are not taxed heavily, gas remains cheap; what more do you want? But, PLEASE, auto industry, we do need to reduce dependence on oil. How hard to understand is that?