Senate Approves CAFE Measure
The auto makers just want to wake up from this nightmare that is CAFE, but that’s not happening as the bad dream continues. The Senate has approved a trimmed-down energy bill that will raise fuel economy standards for the first time since 1975. The Senate voted 86-8 to raise fuel economy standards a full 40% to 35 mpg for cars and light trucks by 2020.
It’s hard to think of a worse way than CAFE for the government to reduce gasoline consumption, but that didn’t prevent senators from hailing the legislation and themselves for passing it.
This bill “will begin to reverse our addiction to oil. It’s a step to fight global warming,” proclaimed Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
“This is a home run,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.
The increased efficiency by 2020 will save 1.1 million barrels of oil of a day, equal to half the oil now imported from the Persian Gulf, save consumers $22 billion at the pump, and reduce annual greenhouse gases emissions by 200 million tons, said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii., whose committee crafted the measure. “It demonstrates to the world that America is a leader in fighting global warming,” he said.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., a longtime protector of the auto industry that is so important to his home state, characterized the fuel economy measure as “ambitious but achievable.”
But the stupidity doesn’t stop there.
The energy legislation requires that ethanol use as a fuel for motor vehicles be increased at a quick rate to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022. About 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol are forecasted to be used as a gasoline additive this year, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, which represents ethanol producers, but most honest energy and automotive analysts are already stating that ethanol is not a good solution to the problem of using less oil.
It is expected that the bill will pass without much drama in the House and then President Bush will sign it into law.
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