After 30 years of trying, the Senate has voted to raise the required fuel efficiency of American automobiles. In addition, the notorious SUV loophole was closed. The bill still must go to the House of Representatives.
Story in the LA Times.
Efforts to increase taxes on the oil industry failed due to a Republican filibuster. The industry has been raking in record profits due to the high price of gas, but not building new oil refineries (a guarantee that gas prices will remain high). The new oil taxes would have been used to subsidize the development of alternatives of wind, solar, and biofuels. As we have seen, there are substantial problems with wind and biofuels (especially corn ethanol), but the voters like the idea and the Republicans could take a beating for favoring oil companies over new energy alternatives.
Yes to CAFE boost, No to oil taxes. Grist Magazine. By David Roberts.
Note. I cover this issue because anything that reduces the need for fossil fuels reduces the threat the energy companies pose to the majesty of America’s West.