## US House Reaches Compromise on CAFE Standards

##### 01 December 2007

Under a compromise agreement struck by leaders of the US House of Representatives, the energy bill that is heading to the floor for a vote next week will include language that raises the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 35 mpg by 2020, but maintains a distinction between passenger cars and light-duty trucks.

The agreement, said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, in a statement released Friday, will also expand incentives for production of vehicles that run on biofuels.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed a bill with CAFE provisions calling for 35 mpg by 2020, and the elimination of the distinction between cars and trucks. The House subsequently struggled between a version of the Senate bill (Markey), and a counterproposal (Hill-Terry) that maintained separate standards for cars and light trucks, and established a minimum of 32 mpg and a maximum of 35 mpg combined standard for 2022. (Earlier post.)

The press release by John D. Dingell in the link is very short on details.
Can anyone provide a link to the text of the agreement?

2020 is a long way off - will there be annual targets?

Does the agreement have a FFV loophole? A modest $200 sales tax rebate for new FFVs would be preferable to allowing E85 to change the mpg target. Does the agreement include a feebate system like Canada introduced recently? Federal tax rebates for BEVs, and for HEVs & PHEVs which exceed 50 mpge would be popular. A sales tax rebate of 1/2% per mpg over 50mpg would mean a 55 mpg HEV gets 2.5% sales tax rebate and an 80 mpge PHEV gets a 15% sales tax rebate. That would help a lot to reduce the price premium of a PHEV. The rebate could be phased down by raising the mpg threshold say 0.5 or 0.4 mpge each month. Additional Federal Sales Tax on new gas guzzlers would help to reach targets and to fund the replacement of unsafe infrastructure. How about 1% for each mpg below the 35mpg target? A 34mpg new car would pay just 1% extra sales tax; a 15mpg SUV would pay 20% sales tax. The same sales tax should be applied to advertising. So sales tax would add 20% to the cost of placing an advert for a 15 mpg SUV. This is rather pathetic then. LONG time frame, and an anemic increase in mileage. I guess we should just forget trying to use CAFE to make things happen. It always did promote stagnation anyways. http://greyfalcon.net/cafe.png Instead just shift straight to promoting electrics and plugin hybrids. _ It's just sad that they are considering giving up the RPS requirement for this crap. Let's not forget that ...we the people...have elected our chosen representatives and they are doing exactly what we want. That's democracy at work. If we (the people) really want greener representation, we have to vote accordingly. Unfortunately, the majority of us still prefer to keep on driving our 4 x 4, 3+ tonnes gas guzzlers, regarless of the imported oil consumed. We have to change first...not our representatvies. We always deserve what we voted for. Is the majority ready for a progressive carbon tax (3 to 5 cents/gallon/month for the next 120 months) to promote the purchase of more efficient vehicles? It's also true that, in our system, the Committees are generally run by people like Dingell, who act as the trolls on a bridge, blocking passage of broadly popular measures because they would affect their local interest group. What does getting rid of CAFE solve? Come up with *any* other regulatory apparatus and Mr. Dingell will still be right there to destroy it or render it toothless and ineffective. Imagine Churchill, in 1940, as they're being pummeled by the Luftwaffe, saying "we should forget trying to use this whole weapons and armies thing, it's clearly not effective". What a waste... Too little too late. What's CAFE standards in the face of the inevitable demise of carbon-based biomass? This is truly pathetic... 35MPG in 2020...and the light truck are not included, the oil peak will happen before this standard take action. I think we have to forget the idea that the federal government can take any affective action to solve america oil addiction and greenhouse crisis. The states (if they are allowed to do so...) will be more effective. Let's hope tha california win the right to promote its own regulation then 15 states are ready to follow, then the CAFE standard will just be ignored... treehugger: Per NY Times, the 35MPG applies to the whole fleet, including light trucks. Trucks and cars have separate targets, but the overall fleet average includes both. The implication seems to be that selling a boatload of >35MPG mini-cars or economy hybrids would give an automaker the right also to sell lower MPG light trucks, muscle cars, etc which staying compliant with the fleet cap. The ethanol subsidy doesn't phase out until 2020, which is a bummer. Apparently that was the tradeoff made to let EPA regulate CO2 emissions, as per recent Supreme Court decision. It will be interesting to see what the final bill looks like, and if our esteemed POTUS will sign it. I agree with those who say that these standards are lagging behind fast moving changes in the real world. The US automakers need to get a clue if they want to stay in business. As much as Americans love their SUVs, who's going to be buying them with high and rising gas prices as far as the eye can see? Whatever standards the US congress and the California legislature come up with should immediately apply to those who voted (and their families) to impose their will on the American public. So, Kit. Then you support John Edwards, who has promised to deny members of Congress participation in the federal employee health care plan until they ensure that all Americans have basic health care? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dingell The wikipedia bio of John D. Dingell sounds like an honourable and principled man doing his best for his country. Extracts from his wiki bio: He and his father have represented the southeastern Michigan area for 74 years. According to wiki, the three largest contributors to his campaign for the 2006 election cycle are political action committees, employees, or other affiliates of General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and DaimlerChrysler; his spouse, Debbie Dingell, is a senior executive at General Motors and vice chair of the General Motors Foundation. Nevertheless, for his conduct regarding environmental issues during the 109th Congress the nonpartisan watchdog group League of Conservation Voters has awarded Dingell its highest rating, 100%. According to the LCV, Dingell voted "pro-environment" on twelve out of twelve issues the group deemed critical. His energy committee uncovered numerous instances of corruption and waste, such as the use of$600 toilet seats at the Pentagon. He also takes credit for forcing the resignations of many Environmental Protection Agency officials, and sending many Food and Drug Administration officials to jail.
Dingell told Time magazine that he intends to oversee legislation that addresses global warming and climate change caused by carbon emissions from automobiles, energy companies and industry.
Dingell helped to write the mandatory automobile fuel efficiency standards in the 1970s, but has opposed raising them. Instead he has indicated that he intends to pursue a regulatory structure that takes greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption into account.
In July of 2007, Dingell indicated he planned to introduce a new a tax on carbon usage in order to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. The policy has been criticized by some, as polling numbers show voters may be unwilling to pay for the changes.

It seems its the voters who are blocking progressive measures to curb GHG, not John D. Dingell.

The failure of cafe is simply the inevitable result of tunnel visioned clueless freaks trying to engineer the RIGHT car for everyone.

If you want spccer moms and weekend road warriors to spend less time driving the sub.... oddly enough you have to actual THINK about ways to enable that to actualy worl.

1 Yiu must make room in the average garage for more then the suv and second car... otherwise thats all they will have.

2 You have to make that third car easier for them to have... lisensing taxes smog checks insurance rates loans...

2 You have to relize that with just 2 cars and 2 paychecks SOMEONE HAS TO DRIVE THE DO EVERYTHING CAR ALL THE TIME. The only fix is 3 rvrn 4 cars.

3 You have toi realize its not your choise itsd not a choice.. people are either getting suv because they realy need the room or passenger space or because they are well off and treating themselves and you can go to hell if you think you have any say in either.
Yes even those 1 child moms need an suv... for taking 6 other children to cthe waterpark every weekend in the summer and todisneyland every summer... Yiu dont and never will get a say in that.

4 Finaly you dont get any say in how many people voar or own horses or go to antique shows or oddly drive offroad like crazy loons over deadly trails because somehow nothing says closer to nature like plummeting 200 feet in a 4 ron mangles pile of exploding metal and plastic.

But you arnt goinmg to listen and you are going to shrink the room available for 3rd and 4th cars and make the suv so spendy they cant also afford the cummter car 3rd car and your just going to get in ypur own way and fail.. as always..

Why? Becauase your too far from normal to understand normal people.

But when it comes to cars peoples brains magicaly drift to stupid land.

"Apparently that was the tradeoff made to let EPA regulate CO2 emissions, as per recent Supreme Court decision."

Do people here actually believe this hogwash??? Now is the discontent of the mane winter. Repent carbon sinners!

The wikipedia bio of John D. Dingell sounds like an honourable and principled man doing his best for his country.
What are you smoking Polly. Or is you full name Pollyanna? Dingell's only job is to protect Detroit.

I reserve the right to criticize when the bill passes and becomes law. But it is a nice sentiment but of little utility in its present form.

Thankfully.

My estimable friend, Jack, has published for us the official achieved CAFÉ figures for the past few years in the USA. While the target by law is 27.5 mpg, the automakers must overachieve to insure that they meet the target, and they have done so. The US has already achieved a CAFÉ of slightly over 30 mpg with the domestics automakers surprisingly exceeding the imports by a slight margin. That was accomplished with almost no HEVs, and certainly no PHEVS, BEVs and FCEVs in the mix. All of which, except FCEVs, are having factories erected to build them in the millions, in the coming decade. Meeting 35 MPG CAFÉ should be a walk in the park, for all but trucks. There the conversion to clean T2B5 diesel technology will certainly help. But perhaps not enough.

Once again the self-appointed guardians of the environment are a day late and a dollar short, and misguided to boot.

The GENUINE energy bills were passed in 2001, 2003 and 2005, when you weren't even looking.

One was concerned with cajoling the nuclear plant builders to design a provably, even safer, generation of nuclear plants. The result is the GEN III+ passive designs of light water reactors, that are 2.5 magnitudes safer than the already safe plants running today.

One was concerned with reorganizing and reforming the laws for licensing and constructing new power plants. That made capital costs and time to completion predictable. That also pulled the teeth of the weapon of environmental stalling that principled critics of fission energy used so well. We employed these lawsuits to halt the construction of sloppy, unsafe versions of second generation Nukes in the 1970s and 1980s. Standardized designs by the revised law, can only be criticized while seeking approval for the standard design. Westinghouse PWR design has already achieved approval, and GE standardized designs are almost through this approval cycle, with other designs close behind. The only remaining basis for stalling lawsuits is site erection deficiencies, bu these were a tougher problem to prove. Finally the longest stalling took place when the plant was finished but was seeking a final authorization to operate. This class of stalling lawsuit was the most expensive for the utilities as a paid for plant was argued about as long as a new environmental or construction angle could be imagined.

Under the reformed laws, this step happens before substantial plant construction occurs, and before lots of money has been spent. The 32 odd plants in the pipeline, will get their combined construction and operating licenses before a spade of Earth is turned, in the next year or two. Three to five years later, the plant will enter operation, unlike the 1970s.

The result is a massive, and building, backlog of new nuclear power stations allowing us to retire the oldest and dirtiest coal power stations. Which, of course, will improve our air quality of real pollutants substantially. For those of you who insist on limiting the release of plant food, it will also eliminate the emission of substantial quantities of beneficial free plant fertilizer.

And the third energy law was the funding to re-invigorate and proceed with the international treaty to construct the $12 billion dollar ITER experiment. In effect, reversing the gross incompetence of the Clinton years. The Clinton Administration said it supported ITER, but was so incompetent, and inattentive, that it couldn't prevent its killing in the Congress. The first International Thermonuclear Experiment, ITER, suffered the death of a thousand cuts as "green" lawmakers diverted funding for a myriad of "green" local earmarks. Lots of money was wasted on wind, wave, geothermal, and other miscellaneous nugatory experiments and demonstrations in a hundred LOCAL constituencies. When the USA withdrew, the first ITER collapsed as other nations followed suit. But that has now been reversed. Now reinvigorated, and expanded, to include ALL the existing and coming world powers, the ITER is being funded jointly, and built in Cadarache France, with the technology developed available to all. One is giving us a doubling of nuclear fission electric power, to power out coming electrified vehicles of the next decade. Another law insures that this GEN III+ generation of Nukes, now being planned and built, will be the LAST generation of Nukes; and that clean inexhaustible Fusion power is now assuredly in our future, in the long term, post 2030. In the meantime, these fission nukes will continue with the "beating of swords into plowshares" and burn up forever, as MOX fuel, more than the thousand nuclear warheads already consumed. This last generation will proceed on, to incinerate the treaty approved 7000 more nuclear warheads, already being dismantled. There is talk of expanding the treaty to encompass more than 10,000 nuclear warheads, as I fervently hope. BTW...Where the hell is the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee in not awarding the prize for this actual accomplishment? You are now free to return to SUV bashing... I reserve the right to criticize when the bill passes and becomes law. But it is a nice sentiment but of little utility in its present form. Thankfully. My estimable friend, Jack, has published for us the official achieved CAFÉ figures for the past few years in the USA. While the target by law is 27.5 mpg, the automakers must overachieve to insure that they meet the target, and they have done so. The US has already achieved a CAFÉ of slightly over 30 mpg with the domestics automakers surprisingly exceeding the imports by a slight margin. That was accomplished with almost no HEVs, and certainly no PHEVS, BEVs and FCEVs in the mix. All of which, except FCEVs, are having factories erected to build them in the millions, in the coming decade. Meeting 35 MPG CAFÉ should be a walk in the park, for all but trucks. There the conversion to clean T2B5 diesel technology will certainly help. But perhaps not enough. Once again the self-appointed guardians of the environment are a day late and a dollar short, and misguided to boot. The GENUINE energy bills were passed in 2001, 2003 and 2005, when you weren't even looking. One was concerned with cajoling the nuclear plant builders to design a provably, even safer, generation of nuclear plants. The result is the GEN III+ passive designs of light water reactors, that are 2.5 magnitudes safer than the already safe plants running today. One was concerned with reorganizing and reforming the laws for licensing and constructing new power plants. That made capital costs and time to completion predictable. That also pulled the teeth of the weapon of environmental stalling that principled critics of fission energy used so well. We employed these lawsuits to halt the construction of sloppy, unsafe versions of second generation Nukes in the 1970s and 1980s. Standardized designs by the revised law, can only be criticized while seeking approval for the standard design. Westinghouse PWR design has already achieved approval, and GE standardized designs are almost through this approval cycle, with other designs close behind. The only remaining basis for stalling lawsuits is site erection deficiencies, bu these were a tougher problem to prove. Finally the longest stalling took place when the plant was finished but was seeking a final authorization to operate. This class of stalling lawsuit was the most expensive for the utilities as a paid for plant was argued about as long as a new environmental or construction angle could be imagined. Under the reformed laws, this step happens before substantial plant construction occurs, and before lots of money has been spent. The 32 odd plants in the pipeline, will get their combined construction and operating licenses before a spade of Earth is turned, in the next year or two. Three to five years later, the plant will enter operation, unlike the 1970s. The result is a massive, and building, backlog of new nuclear power stations allowing us to retire the oldest and dirtiest coal power stations. Which, of course, will improve our air quality of real pollutants substantially. For those of you who insist on limiting the release of plant food, it will also eliminate the emission of substantial quantities of beneficial free plant fertilizer. And the third energy law was the funding to re-invigorate and proceed with the international treaty to construct the$12 billion dollar ITER experiment. In effect, reversing the gross incompetence of the Clinton years. The Clinton Administration said it supported ITER, but was so incompetent, and inattentive, that it couldn't prevent its killing in the Congress.

The first International Thermonuclear Experiment, ITER, suffered the death of a thousand cuts as "green" lawmakers diverted funding for a myriad of "green" local earmarks. Lots of money was wasted on wind, wave, geothermal, and other miscellaneous nugatory experiments and demonstrations in a hundred LOCAL constituencies. When the USA withdrew, the first ITER collapsed as other nations followed suit.

But that has now been reversed. Now reinvigorated, and expanded, to include ALL the existing and coming world powers, the ITER is being funded jointly, and built in Cadarache France, with the technology developed available to all.

One is giving us a doubling of nuclear fission electric power, to power out coming electrified vehicles of the next decade.

Another law insures that this GEN III+ generation of Nukes, now being planned and built, will be the LAST generation of Nukes; and that clean inexhaustible Fusion power is now assuredly in our future, in the long term, post 2030.

In the meantime, these fission nukes will continue with the "beating of swords into plowshares" and burn up forever, as MOX fuel, more than the thousand nuclear warheads already consumed. This last generation will proceed on, to incinerate the treaty approved 7000 more nuclear warheads, already being dismantled. There is talk of expanding the treaty to encompass more than 10,000 nuclear warheads, as I fervently hope.

BTW...Where the hell is the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee in not awarding the prize for this actual accomplishment?

Stan

Your arrogance and self confidence as well as the freedoom you take in manipulating facts is quite disturbing. Where do you get this number that domestic car manufacter acheive 30MPG average on their today production ? even the smallest of their vehicule like the AVEO don't get this, and half of the cars sold today are light truck and SUV. Mileage has been decreasing these past 20 years since vehicules are getting heavier and heavier as well as overpowered. About fusion now, even the experts who work on fusion and ITER can say for sure that it will ever be a practical or economical solution to produce energy in a far or near future.

I sincerely hope that fusion can save us but it is no more than a hope nothing more

Stan,

I support nuclear power but the way you've interpreted and presented your facts is disturbing to say the lest. I don't find any solution to be utopian but the way you push nuclear is very utopian in nature.

ITER for example could've been built in Southern Ontario but it was scutled by the provincial gov't. Candu reactors produce ample amounts of tritium and deutium is used to make the heavy water in them. The ITER project wanted large gov't grants for what is not a commercial project and may never be a commercial project. It was considered a massive hole. Will it work, who knows? And then we don't even know the costs either.

Also the energy plans of the last couple of years did not spur the developement of GEN III+ reactors. Some of these designs have been floating around for years. As for the building of plants - as long as the regulatory envirnoment exists that regards the air as something that can be polluted with impunity - coal will be cheaper than nuclear and no one who builds a coal plant is going to shut it down before its time (~30-40years) is up.

I am totally not satisfied with the recent bill requiring 35 MPH corporate average fuel economy.

What this may very well accomplish, is make it impossible for families to travel together. Furthermore, if you combine the 35 MPG CAFE with ever more draconian safety requirements, the only way to meet both of these together may well be to limit ourselves to cars that can maintain no more than 45 miles per hour. This will effectively curtail our way of life as we know it.

What also upsets me about the CAFE bill that was just passed, is it requires GM, Ford and Chrysler to attain 35 MPG not only for their separate fleets as a whole, but also domestically produced and foreign produced cars separately. This is neurotic. If there is a legitimate social need for itty-bitty 40 MPG cars with the familiar Chevrolet emblem on them, the VERY LEAST we can do is allow GM to import such vehicles from Japan, Korea, or China.

To demand that such vehicles be produced domestically, has no redeeming social value as I see it. Its pure egomania, pure power-mongering.

This business is getting old. We have a leadership crisis. Throw the bums out!

What's important isn't miles per gallon but gallons per year. If car A gets 10 mpg but only travels 10 miles per day it will use less fuel than car B which gets 100 mpg but travels 101 miles per day.
As far as the effect on the climate it is the global total amount of fossil fuels burned that matter, not the average mileage per vehicle. Rationing is the only proven way to lower total fuel use.

Tom, you have a point there. I would prefer a hefty tax on motor fuels rather than rigid allocation and rationing, with perhaps programs to help the poor to adjust to less driving-intensive lifestyles.

Certainly a hefty tax on gasoline would give each of us a choice: Move closer to where one works so he or she doesn't have to drive as far, which in turn would allow use of a somewhat larger car. Or, buy a more fuel-economical car so one doesn't have to leave a familiar neighborhood if changing jobs requires driving further to get there.

A heavy tax on fossil fuel carbon would also encourage more use of carbon-neutral fuels, i.e. BioDiesel, or methane from cow manure, or for that matter using solar electricity instead of electricity generated by burning coal. Who knows ... we may even want to consider (whisper, whisper shhh shh) .. the N word ...

NUCLEAR!

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