Senate Fuel Economy Bill In Trouble

Industry-friendly bill gaining support in Senate.

Published: 13-Mar-2002

> WASHINGTON (AP) - A proposal for tough new auto fuel economy requirements appeared in trouble in the Senate late Tuesday as opponents argued they would deprive drivers of their SUVs and cause more traffic deaths.

The Senate scheduled a vote for Wednesday on the proposal that would require automakers to increase their fuel economy by nearly 50 percent, to a fleet average of 36 miles per gallon, by 2015.

Several senators who support the tougher measures said they apparently don't have enough votes to block a separate, more industry-friendly, bill. It would require the Transportation Department to develop fuel economy increases within two years, but sets no specific standard.

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