CAFE update - negotiations, compromises and the looming fall

Negotiations over CAFE standards in the Senate continued today, with Democrats Harry Reid and Carl Levin leading somewhat oppositional camps, the New York Times reports.
Reid is now saying that, "The time has come to speak for the American people not three car manufacturers that are closing plants and laying off people." Levin, along with Missouri Republican Christopher Bond has devised an amendment to the bill that's up for debate. The bill calls for all passenger vehicles to have a CAFE standard of 35 mpg by 2020 (increasing by 4 percent gains annually after that). and the Levin/Bond amendment shoots for at least 36 mpg for cars by 2022 and 30 mpg for light trucks by 2025. They have not yet offered it to the full Senate.

So, while there is still hope from Democratic corners that a compromise will be reached tonight or tomorrow, there's also some talk that things won't be solved so easily and the whole energy bill will be pushed back until the fall. Reid said that wouldn't happen in the Senate (the fuel economy bill has already been bumped back in the House).

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Automotive News (subs req'd) makes it sound like the 35 mpg by 2020 part doesn't stand much of a chance.

[Source: New York Times, h/t to Linton]

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