Beefed up CAFE standards - 35 mpg by 2020 - approved by Senate panel

I guess Senator Levin didn't get what he wanted.

Today, a U.S. Senate panel voted to increase fuel efficiency standards to an average of 35 mpg by 2020, and then keep increasing it by four percent a year until 2030. The bill's final numbers are far from certain, though, and the bill won't make it to the Senate floor until next month (Currently, the standards are 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.5 for vans and trucks, but you knew that already, right?).

On the face of it, this is a good bill. But this AP article includes a long list of critics: Some Republicans, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the UAW, and some environmentalists. That may sound like a lot, but the Detroit News says that Democrats are confident the bill will pass in June.

While the Auto Alliance may be against the bill, the domestic automakers did get a little something they wanted: $50 million a year in advanced battery research funding. Last year, the Big Three asked the feds for $500,000,000 to build better batteries.

[Source: AP]

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