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The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Energy Independence and Security Act today by a margin of 235 to 181. The new energy bill was crafted on a compromise reached last week between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), and calls for an increase of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard to 35 mpg by 2020. Though the compromises contained in the bill, like keeping standards for cars and trucks separate, assured it a win in the House, it seems there's little chance of it surviving elsewhere. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) came right out and said the bill "clearly has no chance of becoming law." That's because the White House has already said it will veto the bill, which contains additional green policy that affects more than just CAFE standards.
The bill heads to the Senate next, where it will likely lose much of its teeth before being sent off to the President's desk for a possible veto. A number of automakers that have rallied against various forms of this bill have already made public statements that they'll put their best efforts forth to comply with whatever changes are made into law (read GM's statement here and Ford's after the jump), which means they sense the fight is ending and it's time start working on technologies to raise their fleet-wide fuel economy average.

[Source: Houston Chronicle]

PRESS RELEASE:

STATEMENT: FORD COMMENT ON HOUSE ENERGY BILL

The following is a statement from Ford Motor Company on the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 by the House of Representatives:

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 6, 2007 -- "The House energy bill is an important step towards increasing the national fuel economy standard. It accomplishes our shared goal of reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and emissions of greenhouse gases.

While the new standards are aggressive, Ford is committed to providing our customers with the fuel efficient, clean, safe, high quality products they want and value.

It is a substantial improvement over the Senate energy bill passed in June, because it maintains the separation of cars and trucks, provides flexibility to manufacturers and encourages the production of flex fuel vehicles."


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  • 31 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Because that's all US automakers can sell and make a profit on. So
      they send lobbiest to please the case that all SUVs and trucks are
      work vehicles and it's unfair to tax the American working man just
      for driving the truck he needs to work. In other words, because of
      horse sh**.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Check out (4) under the truck specs. This is how the manufactures can call anything not a passenger vehicle.... a truck.

      Authority to establish vehicle classifications for the purposes of calculating CAFE was delegated to NHTSA. Specifically, the definitions are as follows:

      1) Passenger Car – any 4-wheel vehicle not designed for off-road use that is manufactured primarily for use in transporting 10 people or less.

      2) Truck – a 4-wheel vehicle which is designed for off-road operation (has 4-wheel drive or is more than 6,000 lbs. GVWR and has physical features consistent with those of a truck); or which is designed to perform at least one of the following functions: (1) transport more than 10 people; (2) provide temporary living quarters; (3) transport property in an open bed; (4) permit greater cargo-carrying capacity than passenger-carrying volume; or (5) can be converted to an open bed vehicle by removal of rear seats to form a flat continuous floor with the use of simple tools.


        • 7 Years Ago
        more important is #5. Here are some vehicles that are trucks by definition #5:
        Dodge Magnum
        Subaru Legacy and outback wagons
        PT cruiser
        HHR
        There are others, but the point is, none of these are trucks, yet they count as trucks because you can fold down the seats for a nice flat floor.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why don't we raise gas taxes a couple bucks a gallon, and then cut income taxes by a like amount.

      No net tax increase, but we make big strides on oil efficiency.

      What's not to like?
        • 7 Years Ago
        because that would require everyone to drive the same distance to work, and make the same salary, to be "fair".
        • 7 Years Ago
        Makes perfect sense to raise gas taxes and cut income tax or offer rebates to the working class, but this is government we're talking about.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "35mpg should be easy. The EU is planning on making a 130g/km rule by 2012, which would equate to an average mpg of 5.4L/100km (43.4 mpg US) for gasoline and 4.8L/100km (48.9 mpg US) for diesel vehicles.
      "

      Of course the EU has no enforcement procedure in place or even a rough idea if this is even possible, I seriously doubt they will get their industry as a whole down to those levels in 2012. Previous, less lofty goals have already been missed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Eveyone's a partiot until it costs them a dollar.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bush needs to ask himself a question, what will he be remembered for….he did nothing for well being of the nation, did not fix social security, 40 million uninsured, war, debt, at the very least he try to clean air and make USA oil free……………..but I really do not think he cares.

      I personally voted for Bush, 2 times. Bush basically turned me into a Democrat, I never was one, but now I feel many Republicans will if not swich…..then just seat at home on Nov 2nd.
        • 7 Years Ago
        He obviously plans to be rememebered for solving the Palistilian conflict. I'm sure they will go as planed...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just saw this news story on CNN a few minutes ago while eating lunch with my mom.

      She couldn't understand why I was yelling "NO! NO! NO!" at the screen.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I understand why. It's because you're an idiot, right?
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should make a law that says all the cars need to get 50 mpg, have 8 airbags standard, do 0-60 in 2.9 secs, and cost less than $25,000.

      Seriously, everyone who agrees with the whole principle of CAFE laws will be the same people b*tching and calling for government subsidies and tax writeoffs and associated bs when 1)they can't afford to buy a new car and 2)the domestic manufacturers go under. Let the market speak.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That allows them to keep making 10-12 mpg 3 ton trucks without them bringing down the mpg average for the entire fleet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      pure nonsense. I dont know about you, but where I live pikcups and vans are NEEDED to do construction, carry goods and help private contractors do business. Its hard to build a skyscraper using nothing but Fits and Corollas. I amazes me that people dont understand that trucks have a purpose. Are many of them underused by their owners? Yes. does this mean that trucks are totally unecessary? Heck no. Trucks and cars should have different standards because trucks have to be larger and heavier to accomplish tasks that cars are not asked to do. You can make a pickup weigh the same as a compact car and have the same efficiency and then expect that truck to do its job. The Silverado hybrid is likely to get 21mpg in the City which is good but a LONG way from the new CAFE standards. Do people who hate trucks hate all the things that get done because of them? Do they hate farmers? contractors? utility workers? Do they really believe you can replace large trucks with cars and get the same work done?

        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't recall anyone saying trucks should be replaced by cars, just that HHR's and PT Cruisers not be classified as trucks. Oh, and that commercial trucks be subject to the same polution standards as cars. I don't really see where this is unreasonable. If vehicles were taxed to the point that the environmental damage they cause is fully realized in their cost then this would be a nonissue anyway as no one who didn't truly have to have a truck would be willing to pay the price to drive one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Automakers are just crying wolf...The Car Talk guys said it better than I could:

      http://www.cartalk.com/content/features/cafe/

      I am all for letting the market decide, but only if (A) carmakers are required to price their vehicles according to the impact they have on the environment or (B) consumers are required to pay additional taxes according to their carbon footprint.

      WATCH how quickly carmakers find that "electric vehicles were feasible after all," and foot-dragging petroleum-backing politicians get voted out of office.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "And while Toyota's US average is in the mid-twenties, the entirety of Japan has a fuel economy average of over 46MPG so I don't imagine it would be very hard for Toyota to simply bring over more Japanese models by 2020."

      People actually need to buy them for them to count against CAFE goals. And most of the micro cars people say already get 40mpg, would never pass crash testing in the USA.
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