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Increased CAFE standards law's passage "too close to call"

This is the week the U.S. Senate starts full debate on a bill that would force higher corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) ratings on automakers. Automotive News' Harry Stoffer has a good run-down (subs req'd) on where things stand with the bill, as does USA Today, but it's a few days old now.
(You're probably familiar with this case because of all our previous stories - see below - but just as a reminder, the bill would raise the average to 35 mpg by 2020; in general, automakers oppose the bill)

Anyway, what's the score? Stoffer says the auto industry has lost clout to those who push the environmental message on Capitol Hill on this issue. Still, with all the connections the automakers have on the Hill, all this means is that the bill's fate is "too close to call."

Sounds to me like a compromise is in the works, even though the automakers, through the Auto Alliance, have been running scare ads to turn public opinion against the higher standards. They killed a CAFE revamping bill five years ago, but it's a different ballgame now. If you've got an Automotive News subscription, you can listen to those ads here.

Oh, and ethanol is a small part of the debate, too.

Related stories from the last ten days of AutoblogGreen:
[Source: Harry Stoffer / Automotive News]

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