Senators try to improve fuel efficiency

Senator Diane Feinstein of California and three of her colleagues are not happy about the current level of fuel efficiency in American cars, and they are aiming to do something about it.

The fearsome foursome are proposing aggressive new standards for efficiency. Under their plan makers would have to have a fleetwide average fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2017, which would save 2.5 million barrels of Middle Eastern oil per day by their estimation. There would be smaller milestones along the way as well – an average for cars of 31.1 miles per gallon by 2009, light trucks to average 23.6 mpg in the same year and onboard fuel efficiency gauges in cars by 2013.

Not surprisingly, the auto industry isn’t happy about the suggestion. They suggest that the legislation would cause them to make lighter and less safe vehicles in order to meet the standards. They suggest that the only reason no one is building an SUV which gets 40 mpg is because it can’t technically be done.


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