Proposal Exempts Car Companies from CAFE
A weird but interesting minor provision of a new bill proposed by Senator Carl Levin, Democratic senator from Michigan, would exempt vehicle manufacturers from CAFE completely if the company in question commits to offering only vehicles powered by alternative fuels or “advanced technology” by 2020.
The overall proposal is called the “American Manufacturing Initiative” and is comprised of various tax breaks as well as changes to health plan policies, technology investment issues, and trade and currency regulations, all designed to assist the automakers with the transition to more fuel-efficient vehicles. Cost is unknown at this point.
The other Michigan senator, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) of Michigan, is also involved with the American Manufacturing Initiative. Levin said the initiative will “focus on leap-ahead technologies, and we really want to have a major investment in those technologies, instead of focusing on those incremental changes”.
Levin intends to offer the bill as an alternative to the bill embraced by a majority of senators that requires all automakers to produce passenger vehicles that average 35 MPG by 2020. That bill is expected to come up for a vote in a few weeks.