Two amendments proposing increases in fuel efficiency (CAFE) requirements for passenger automobiles entered the Senate debate over the energy bill today.
The first, sponsored by Christopher Bond (R-MO), proposed CAFE increases based on “maximum feasible average fuel economy levels,” factoring in a number of considerations including economics and the competitive positions of manufacturers.
The second, proposed by Dick Durbin (D-IL), specified phased increases in the CAFE regulations up to 40 mpg in 2016, redefined “passenger automobile” to include most SUVs and light trucks, and specified civil penalties for non-compliance.
With these two amendments, as with the climate change amendments earlier in the week, there was a choice between one version that “bought into” the concept without getting specific, and another one that specified measurable goals as well as penalties for not reaching those goals.
The Senate agreed to the Bond amendment 64 to 31, and rejected the Durbin amendment 28–67. Whether the Bond amendment will survive the process of integration with the House version is another question.
|Further Action on Amendments to Senate Energy Bill 22–23 Jun 05
|Accepted.. To impose additional CAFE requirements “determined on the basis of the maximum feasible average fuel economy levels for the passenger automobiles.“ To accelerate development of hybrids with an additional $50M in R&D funding over three years. To accelerate the development of clean, high-efficiency diesels with an additional $75M in R&D funding over three years. Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle procurement for federal agencies.
|Rejected. To phase in additional CAFE requirements for passenger autombiles starting at 28 mpg in 2007 and reaching 40 mpg in 2016. To change the definition of “passenger automobile” to include vehicles of up to 12,000 pounds gross vehicle weight—i.e., SUVs and trucks, with exclusions for certain definitions of commercial-style vehicles. To impose civil penalties for non-compliance. To set a higher fuel conomy threshold for government executive agencies.
|Accepted.. To provide a budget roadmap for the transition to hydrogen vehicles by 2020.
|Accepted. To require the submission of reports on the potential of biodiesel and H-CNG (hydrogen/CNG blend) to be used as major, sustainable alternative fuels.
|Accepted. To require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to complete its investigation and order refunds on the rates charged to California during its 2000–2001 electricity crisis.
|Accepted. For the National Academy of Sciences to determine the effect electrical contaminants (such as tin whiskers) may have on the reliability of energy production systems, including nuclear.
|Accepted. To establish a National Priority Project program, designation and award to go to organizations that have advanced the field of renewable energy technology.
|Accepted. To promote and to develop fuel-efficient technology for aviation.
|Accepted. To commission a study for the roof of the Senate office building that facilitates incorporating energy efficient technologies.
|Accepted. To make Alaska native Corporations eligible for renewable energy production incentives.
|Rejected. To strike the section from the bill relating to incentives for innovative technologies across a wide range of categories.
| UC = Unanimous Consent