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The Senate decided today (March 13) to reject a proposal that would have raised corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards for cars and light trucks almost 50% during the next decade, according to Autonews.COM, the web site of the Automotive News trade publication.
Instead, the Senate voted 62-38 today in favor of an amendment that requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), not Congress, to set new CAFE standards.
If approved by Congress, NHTSA would have 15 months to set new CAFE standards for light trucks and 24 months to set new car standards. The new standards could be effective as long as 15 years.
The auto industry endorsed the amendment that was approved by the Senate today. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) also opposes a sharp increase in CAFE standards because of the negative impact it would have on the tow vehicle industry.
The current CAFE standard is 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and 20.7 mpg for light trucks, including those used for pulling towable RVs.
The CAFE increase that was defeated today would have raised the CAFE standard for cars and light trucks to 35 mpg by 2013.