Senate OKs New Fuel Standards

Bill would mandate 35 mpg for autos, boost ethanol production
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2007 7:05 PM CST
Congressional Democrats Visit Capitol Hill Gas Station   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A bill that will require better fuel mileage for automobiles passed the Senate today after majority Democrats dropped billions in taxes on oil companies, the AP reports. The bill, which Republicans said won't be vetoed if, as expected, it passes the House next week, would force cars, light trucks, and SUVs to get an average of 35 mpg by 2020.

Supporters say the measure will save save consumers $22 billion in gas costs and reduce annual greenhouse-gas emissions by 200 million tons, the AP notes. The bill will also increase sevenfold production of ethanol, and it mandates that the cleaner-burning fuel be made from sources other than corn, such as switchgrass and prairie grasses.