It was a close game. But in the end, the plutocrats prevailed on energy legislation. Yes, fuel economy will go up some, but the push towards renewable energy will have to wait. Even on fuel economy standards, the requirement to incrementally increase standards every year after getting to 35 mpg by 2020 was dropped.
Well, given the notoriously undemocratic nature of the US senate, progress will be slow.
Senate Adopts an Energy Bill Raising Mileage for Cars – New York Times
The Senate passed a broad energy bill late Thursday that would, among other things, require the first big increase in fuel mileage requirements for passenger cars in more than two decades. The vote, 65 to 27, was a major defeat for car manufacturers, which had fought for a much smaller increase in fuel economy standards and is expected to keep fighting as the House takes up the issue. But Senate Democrats also fell short of their own goals. In a victory for the oil industry, Republican lawmakers successfully blocked a crucial component of the Democratic plan that would have raised taxes on oil companies by about $32 billion and used the money on tax breaks for wind power, solar power, ethanol and other renewable fuels. Republicans also blocked a provision of the legislation that would have required electric utilities to greatly increase the share of power they get from renewable sources of energy. As a result, Senate Democrats had to settle for a bill that calls for a vast expansion of renewable fuels over the next decade — to 36 billion gallons a year of alternatives to gasoline — but does little to actually promote those fuels through tax breaks or other subsidies. The combination of breakthroughs and setbacks highlighted the blocking power of the entrenched industry groups, from oil companies and electric utilities to car manufacturers, that had blanketed Congress in recent days to defend their interests.
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