Senate Rejects CAFE Standards

The U.S. Senate has rejected strict new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) requirements
amid sharp disagreement over safety and whether the new standard would force people to
abandon their sport-utility vehicles. Instead, the Senate approved a proposal that would
direct the Department of Transportation to develop new fuel-economy rules, but set no
specific mileage increase. A provision that would have required automakers to increase
their corporate average fuel economy to 36 miles per gallon by 2015 was defeated. The vote
was 68 to 37. Automakers currently are required to meet a fleet average of 27.5 mpg for
cars and 20.7 miles per gallon for SUVs, minivans and pickups. The Senate also directed
that pickup trucks be exempted from future mileage increases, keeping the requirement at
20.7 mpg. The amendment does not affect minivans or SUVS, which technically are in the
“light truck” category.


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