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Thread: Congress Called Near Compromise on Fuel Economy Bill

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    Congress Called Near Compromise on Fuel Economy Bill

    [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/28/washington/28gas.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1196276680-u1cirP1BO4pMuzQOIpB/6g"]http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/28/washington/28gas.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1196276680-u1cirP1BO4pMuzQOIpB/6g[/URL]


    WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 Congressional negotiators are nearing agreement on a measure to set significantly higher fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, according to aides and lobbyists following the talks.

    A deal could come as early as Wednesday to require all passenger vehicles sold in the United States to reach a combined fleetwide average of 35 miles a gallon by 2020. If enacted into law, the measure would be the first major increase in vehicle fuel economy standards in two decades.

    The legislation would allow the automakers to calculate mileage based on the size and weight of vehicles, as long as their entire line of products meets the 35-mile-a-gallon standard, satisfying a central demand by Senate sponsors of the bill.

    Such a deal would also provide incentives for the three big American manufacturers to continue building small cars in this country, preserving an estimated 17,000 jobs. The United Automobile Workers union and members of Congress from automaking states insisted on that provision as a condition of supporting the broader compromise.

    The deal also appears to include mileage credits for so-called flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on a mixture of gasoline in relatively small proportions, and ethanol. It is comparatively inexpensive to convert vehicles to run on ethanol blends, but the fuel is available at a limited number of service stations, so the gasoline savings are expected to be minimal in the next few years.

    Aides briefed on the negotiations said that difficult issues remain to be resolved, with Senate Democrats insisting on a strict reading of the 35 mile-a-gallon standard and adherence to the 2020 deadline.

    But Representative John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan and a stalwart supporter of the auto industry, is pushing for concessions to help the financially struggling American automakers.

    The House and Senate passed broad energy legislation earlier this year, but they have been unable to resolve differences between them. The fuel economy measure is considered among the most effective ways to reduce the consumption of oil which is selling at near-record prices and the production of greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere.

    The House speaker, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, said this week that she hoped to gain passage of an energy bill containing the new mileage rules by the middle of next week.

    Reaching agreement on that timetable is likely to require Congressional leaders to drop provisions like a mandate that electric utilities nationwide generate 15 percent of their power from renewable sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric power. Utilities lobbied intensively against that requirement.

    A House-passed measure to repeal $16 billion in tax breaks for the oil industry is also expected to be scrapped, aides said. President Bush threatened to veto the entire package if the oil and gas tax bill were included.

    A provision passed by the Senate but not the House would require the increased use of alternative fuels like ethanol and liquids produced from wood or municipal waste, with a goal of 36 billion gallons of such biofuels by 2022. A version of that measure is expected to survive, although negotiators are still working on complex formulas for different types of biofuels.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Dingell said Tuesday evening that there was no final agreement on any specific provision concerning automotive mileage standards, but that the congressman was committed to helping pass a bill this year. She said that negotiators hoped to resolve their differences by Wednesday evening.

  2. #2
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    This is good news. Looks like a comprimise is in the works.

    my favorite paragraph is:

    "A House-passed measure to repeal $16 billion in tax breaks for the oil industry is also expected to be scrapped, aides said. President Bush threatened to veto the entire package if the oil and gas tax bill were included."

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    More stupidity from D.C. twits--

    Nothing in this bill will cut the costs of traveling.

    You can't save money using E85 (85% ethanol, 15%gas) unless it's priced 25% cheaper than gasoline.

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    What about GM's EV1, the electric car. I think an oil company owns the patent for the batteries that actually would work.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;2237062]What about GM's EV1, the electric car. I think an oil company owns the patent for the batteries that actually would work.[/QUOTE]

    it's exciting but the energy for these cars has to come from somewhere

    if it's coal that's probably worse for the environment

    if it's nuclear i think that could be great

    either way is good from a national security perspective

    ***

    note that no one, dem or rep wants to enact an MPG cap. Clinton backed Hybrids and Bush backs "hyper-car" hydrogen fuel cells but it's not all that hard to increase gas milage. cars now get less MPG than the ford model t, introduced almost a century ago. the technology exists but it's not in the interests of big business to enact these changes.

    a very easy thing to do is make cars lighter. the lighter the car, the less fuel it uses. current cars weigh on average 3000 pounds, this is not really needed.

    and we can talk about safety but the truth is bigger cars such as SUVs are often far less safe due to roll overs and other factors. they feel safer but they really aren't.

    the funny thing is when Bush scrapped clinton's hybrid initiative the big 3 were right there with him but Japan never got the memo. they made the Prius and the Insight and long story short, the US car companies eventually had to license this technology from the Japanese to 'catch up' - if you see a ford hybrid, that's based off of toyota technology and they get paid with every sale.

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    One of Bush's programs also pushed the purchases of SUV's with tax incentives.


    [QUOTE=bitonti;2237440]it's exciting but the energy for these cars has to come from somewhere

    if it's coal that's probably worse for the environment

    if it's nuclear i think that could be great

    either way is good from a national security perspective

    ***

    note that no one, dem or rep wants to enact an MPG cap. Clinton backed Hybrids and Bush backs "hyper-car" hydrogen fuel cells but it's not all that hard to increase gas milage. cars now get less MPG than the ford model t, introduced almost a century ago. the technology exists but it's not in the interests of big business to enact these changes.

    a very easy thing to do is make cars lighter. the lighter the car, the less fuel it uses. current cars weigh on average 3000 pounds, this is not really needed.

    and we can talk about safety but the truth is bigger cars such as SUVs are often far less safe due to roll overs and other factors. they feel safer but they really aren't.

    the funny thing is when Bush scrapped clinton's hybrid initiative the big 3 were right there with him but Japan never got the memo. they made the Prius and the Insight and long story short, the US car companies eventually had to license this technology from the Japanese to 'catch up' - if you see a ford hybrid, that's based off of toyota technology and they get paid with every sale.[/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2237440]it's exciting but the energy for these cars has to come from somewhere

    if it's coal that's probably worse for the environment

    if it's nuclear i think that could be great

    either way is good from a national security perspective
    [/QUOTE]

    I believe coal fired electrical plants are more efficient than the internal combustion engine. The question is how many coal fired plant would need to be built in order to eliminate every automobile in the country and would that cause a reduction in CO2.

    Nuclear power plants scare me. Everyone is frightened of the 'dirty bomb' scenario. With more nuclear power plants we eliminate the need of the 'evil doers' to find nuclear material. With nuclear plants we have the nuclear material situated on (every?) major river across the country.

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    By 2020?!?!?! and this is why nothing EVER changes. by 2020 we will have flying cars running on water. Can we atleast force the automakers hands and make it 2011? They have the tech and know how, what they lack is incentive.

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    [QUOTE=klynch;2237499] Can we atleast force the automakers hands and make it 2011? They have the tech and know how, what they lack is incentive.[/QUOTE]

    If the auto makers have the "tech and know how" for better mileage cars, why don't they make them?

    I had a '72 Chev stationwagon with a small block 400 cu. in. V-8 engine in it that would get 20 mpg on the highway.

    My current minivan gets 20-21 mpg with a 3.8L V-6, so in 35 years I've gained 1 mpg and the performance of my van sucks compared to the ol' Chev.

    A gallon of gas has only so many btu's of energy, so there's a limit to how much mpg a given car will deliver, and ethanol has less energy than gas, so it takes about 1.5 gal of ethanol to get you as far as a gal of gas.

  10. #10
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    Maybe because big oil and the automakers make sure they need one another.

    [QUOTE=asuusa;2238646]If the auto makers have the "tech and know how" for better mileage cars, why don't they make them?

    I had a '72 Chev stationwagon with a small block 400 cu. in. V-8 engine in it that would get 20 mpg on the highway.

    My current minivan gets 20-21 mpg with a 3.8L V-6, so in 35 years I've gained 1 mpg and the performance of my van sucks compared to the ol' Chev.

    A gallon of gas has only so many btu's of energy, so there's a limit to how much mpg a given car will deliver, and ethanol has less energy than gas, so it takes about 1.5 gal of ethanol to get you as far as a gal of gas.[/QUOTE]

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