The U.S. Senate has sidestepped efforts to boost Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for automobiles and light trucks by giving the DOT a two-year window to develop its own vehicle mileage proposals.
Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) had proposed increasing CAFE standards from 24 mpg for cars and light trucks to 36 mpg by 2015. The proposal took aim at the overall poor fuel economy of light trucks, which are subject to less-stringent fuel economy standards than cars.
Both Kerry and McCain said they would withdraw their CAFE proposal after the Senate voted 62-38 for an amendment to a larger package of energy legislation that gives DOT two years to develop new vehicle mileage standards. However, the amendment said that DOT must consider vehicle safety and economic impact of any new mileage standards it develops.