Pelosi responds to removal of 35mpg CAFE standard in House bill

The congressional fight over CAFE standards entered a new round yesterday, with, as we reported earlier today, Rep. Markley (D-Mass.) backing away from the 35 mpg standard he had been pushing. This is the statement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in response:
"My long-stated goal has been to bring to the floor a strong energy bill that builds on the unity we have within the Democratic Caucus.

"I strongly respect Chairman Ed Markey and Congressman Baron Hill for their decisions to withdraw their amendments on fuel efficiency standards in the interest of promoting passage of a consensus energy bill.

"The American people -- in every region of the country -- overwhelmingly support stronger fuel efficiency standards, and we will have an opportunity to address this issue shortly. The Senate energy bill does contain a CAFE provision, which I support."

The statement is, um, interesting. Pelosi has said for a while that she wants to move the energy bill through the House and is willing to let the 35 mpg number slip away to pass it. The House will debate the energy bill soon, and then it'll be time to reconcile with the Senate version, which does include the 35 mpg provision. Looks like getting Markey to back down allows Pelosi to say she's for more fuel-efficient cars without doing the hard work of implementing such a policy.

[Source: Office of the Speaker of the House]

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