Energy bill sails through House; auto on board

Dec 06, 2007 | 03:50 PM | Michael Cowden

A landmark energy bill approved by the House of Representatives Thursday would impose a strict new fuel efficiency standard, but many automakers appear grudgingly ready to accept the challenge.

The legislation, which passed 235 to 181, would boost the corporate average fuel economy (Cafe) standard for cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, about a 40-percent increase over current standards 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and 22.2 miles per gallon for trucks.

The White House is opposed to such strict regulations, with President Bush threatening to veto the energy bill in its current form. It also is expected to face a filibuster in the Senate.

But reaction among the auto industry appeared less strident this week. Many automakers might not like the new standard, but they at least seem pleased at the possibility of having a national policy to guide their planning.....

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