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Bill Raising Fuel Economy Standards Hits Roadblock in Senate

December 10, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- An energy bill seeking to raise average fuel economy standards suffered a setback Friday, Dec. 7, when a Senate procedural vote on the legislation failed 53-42. The bill would raise the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) by 40 percent --- from the current 27 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for light trucks (including SUVs, pickups and vans) to 35 mpg for cars and light trucks by 2020. The fuel economy standard hasn't been raised since 1975. Sixty yes votes were needed for the bill to advance. But Republicans took issue with the bill's provisions calling for $21 billion in new taxes, CNN reported. The bill would repeal billions of tax subsidies, including $13 billion for the five largest oil companies in the U.S. The House passed the bill 235-181 on Thursday night, Dec. 6. The new snag in the Senate doesn't mean the legislation is dead. "It means we have to go to work to fix some of the problems that the House bill has generated for us," Sen. Pete Demenici of New Mexico told CNN. A new version of the bill is expected as early as tomorrow. The White House has threatened to veto the bill.
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