U.S. Senate and fuel economy: More studies

Why are we in a serious energy predicament? Yet another example of why U.S. lawmakers are a part of the problem: Senate OKs study of fuel economy increase:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — After crude oil prices spiked above $60 a barrel for the second time in a week, the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a proposal requiring the Transportation Department to raise fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles in two-and-a-half years in an effort to reduce domestic oil consumption.

It is unclear how big a boost in fuel economy standards auto manufacturers are likely to face, since the measure would require officials to take into account the impact any proposed increase might have on vehicle safety, the economy, U.S. unemployment, and cost to the auto industry.

In a separate move on Thursday, the Senate shot down, 67-28, a more proscriptive proposal that would have dramatically raised the fuel economy standards of vehicles sold in the U.S. to 40 miles per gallon by 2016, an increase of 45% over current standards.

Both measures were offered as amendments to a broad energy bill pending before the Senate. The Senate is slated vote on the energy bill Tuesday.

Funny thing about this is that by 2016 we will be well into a very real, very obvious energy crisis. 40 miles to the gallon should be now. The U.S. congress, along with the White House, are making very serious, fundamental errors in energy policy. Unfortunately the vast majority of Americans don’t have a clue. You can bet your ass that in the year 2016 they’ll have a clue.

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