Amendment would dilute fuel standards bill

| 6/15/2007

U.S. senators from two car-making states hope to slightly water down a bill that would set new standards for car and truck fuel mileage.

The measure they’re concerned with – known as the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency standards, part of S1419, an energy bill introduced by Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV – would require car and light-truck manufacturers to achieve a fleet average of 35 mpg by the year 2020, and then increase the mileage by 4 percent each successive year.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI, and Sen. Kit Bond, R-MO, are offering an amendment that would give automakers two more years to achieve a 36 mpg target for cars, and 30 mpg for light trucks.

As for heavy trucks, the bill would require manufacturers to show a 4-percent improvement in fuel economy each year.

Associations for both truck and engine manufacturers oppose that requirement, with one official saying such fuel economy standards “just don’t carry over” to heavy trucks.