Fate of fuel standards bill still uncertain

11/08/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The U.S. Senate passed a bill in June to hike fuel economy standards to a combined fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 – that would be a 40-percent increase.

The House sidestepped the issue of fuel economy in August in the wake of the support of more than 160 members for a softer fuel economy increase that would raise it 28 to 40 percent by 2022 to a combined fuel economy of between 32 and 35 miles per gallon.

Automakers have also said the proposals would cost them at least $85 billion over the next decade and be difficult -- if not impossible to reach.

Chrysler said earlier this year it could bankrupt the company.

Today former congressman Thomas Evans sent a letter to members of Congress urging immediate action to enact stronger fuel economy standards. Evans is also chairman of the Florida Coalition for Preservation.

Evans said there were a variety of things U.S. citizens could do starting now to conserve energy, but he said raising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards is an essential place to start.

Sidney Greenstein served in World War II in the Marines. The Fort Lauderdale resident says it’s a matter of national security to raise fuel economy standards.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week she wasn’t certain when energy legislation would be voted on by the House. The Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act is part of the energy package, and is due to be voted on before the end of the year. Congress will soon break for Thanksgiving before returning for a week or two in December – and some advocates fear the bill will not be voted on before 2008.

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