Friday, December 01, 2006

Whither CAFE?

Washington Wire reports:

CAFE CLASH looms among Capitol Hill Democrats.

Senate leaders, including incoming Energy Chairman Bingaman, back an Obama plan forcing government to raise corporate average fuel-economy standards for autos by one mile per gallon each year, unless regulators prove it isn’t feasible. Obama notes the current U.S. car standard of 27.5 miles per gallon has been “frozen” for 20 years, while Japan has gone to 45 mpg.

House Energy Chairman-to-be Dingell of Detroit blasts CAFE as outmoded, and instead backs incentives for flex-fuel cars. Deron Lovaas, a vehicle expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, says House Democrats, the auto industry and United Auto Workers face rising pressure to “cut some sort of deal” with the Senate.

Perhaps Rep. Dingell will recognize that pressure to increase CAFE is only likely to rise further, and will help to negotiate an arrangement that helps Detroit with it's healthcare costs?

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