Carmakers want watered down CAFE

U.S. Capitol Building

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner : In the Senate energy bill passed last month, fuel economy standard were boosted. Cars and SUVs should get 35 miles per gallon by 2020, and as you might imagine, that has the car industry seeing red. This week, the House of Representatives takes up fuel economy, and carmakers are lobbying hard to get the bill tweaked before it hits the president's desk. Jeremy Hobson reports from Washington.


Jeremy Hobson: One proposal in the House would be even tougher than the Senate bill, with a target date of 2019 for the 35 mile per gallon average.

Environmental groups are lobbying fiercely for higher standards, but Eli Hopson of the Union of Concerned Scientists says the auto industry is fighting back hard.

Eli Hopson: The auto industry, after our success in the Senate, decided to throw out a last-ditch effort. And I wish I could get my hands on the amount of money they've spent. Unfortunately, we think if that had been spent on increasing technology, it would have been a lot better use.

The industry is getting behind a different bill that would push the target date back to 2022. That has the support of the United Auto Workers union.

Alan Reuther is legislative director:

Alan Reuther: The targets we think are more achievable and aren't so damaging economically that they're gonna put the companies under.

Even if the House doesn't consider higher fuel standards this week, it'll have to confront the issue in negotiations with the Senate over its energy bill.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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