Senate Rejects Tougher Fuel Efficiency Standards
> WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate rejected tough new automobile fuel economy requirements Wednesday amid sharp disagreement over safety and whether the new standard would force "soccer moms" to abandon their SUVs and minivans.
Instead, senators approved by a 62-38 vote a more industry-friendly proposal that would direct the Transportation Department to develop new fuel economy rules, but sets no specific increase for the automakers to meet.
A provision that would have required automakers to increase their fleetwide gasoline economy to 36 miles per gallon by 2015, an increase of about 50 percent from current rules, came under sharp attack as a threat to the U.S. auto industry and the ability of Americans to choose their vehicles.
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