Automakers Hope CAFE Agreement Will End California Waiver Request

by | Dec 3, 2007

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Automakers say congressional legislation that would require cars and light trucks to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020 should be taken into account as the EPA prepares to decide on a California proposal to let states set pollution standards, Bloomberg reports.

Late Friday, Democrats reached a compromise to raise corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards to a fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40 percent hike above their current levels, Forbes reports. The proposal is the cornerstone of a major energy bill that the House of Representatives is expected to take up this week. The measure is expected to include a provision that requires the country’s major utilities to obtain at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar power.

Last month, California filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to act on California’s tailpipe emissions waiver request.
“I’d hope California would withdraw their request for a waiver now that we have a very, very challenging national standard,” Mike Stanton, president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, whose members include Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., said in the Bloomberg article.
The agreement on car mileage is “a historic achievement,” Deron Lovaas, transportation analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York. “But there is more technical potential to increase fuel efficiency than is reflected in this deal.”

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