After much back and forth, including a veto threat and failure to get cloture, the energy bill has finally passed the Senate by a vote of 86-8. To get the votes, Democrats had to compromise on utility reductions and increasing taxes on oil companies. The new bill will require automakers to reach a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) of 35 mpg by 2020, as well as increase ethanol use to 36 billion gallons a year.
The next step is to send the energy bill to the house for approval, which shouldn't be a problem, and then onto the President for his signature. The White House is happy with the bill, so that should be the ball game barring any unforeseen complications. To aid automakers, the bill includes language to spend 50% of fines collected from those in non compliance to help manufacturers adjust their manufacturing to meet the new reqs. Requirements that would make automakers attain multiple standards has also been stripped. All in all, it's about the best compromise we're going to get and a bill that I think that a majority will be happy with. [DetNews]