A massive lobbying effort is taking place in Washington as you read this. The issue at hand are modified CAFE standards. Executives from the automotive industry apparently are not powerful enough on their own accord, so they have asked dealers to join them in the battle. By bringing auto dealers into the picture, Senators are more apt to listen, as the dealers are part of the voting public from the states the Senators are representing.

Currently, there are two possible bills on the table that the Senate could vote on. One bill would raise the fuel mileage standards 40 percent by 2020 and 4 percent a year after that, while the other would raise standards by more than 30 percent by 2025. Automakers, the UAW and many dealers favor the lower standards, and the lobbying efforts are an attempt to convince Washington that the lower standards would be tough but possible, while the higher standards would absolutely cripple the industry.

Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) told the CEOs from the Big Three that the debate was over regarding CAFE standards. Perhaps that was a bit premature, as Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, has stated that the vote will be very close if the Senate were to vote today. This is getting very interesting, and we will certainly be following this story closely.

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[Source: Automotive News (sub. required) and Detroit News]


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