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Auto fuel efficiency standards need new directions

A Senate Commerce sub-committee hearing on Tuesday, May 9 concerning the so called Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for automakers' fleets of cars offers the chance for sub-committee members to consider progressive, market-based alternatives to the current industry-wide mandates for greater fuel efficiency. The Center for American Progress favors raising current CAFE standards to reduce America's dependence of foreign oil – action that should have been taken years ago. But CAP has also proposed a range of alternatives that would complement and enhance efforts to boost auto mileage standards.

In our recent policy presentation "15 New Ideas" we've suggested several ways in which America can swiftly lower its reliance on foreign oil, boost its output of domestic biofuels, and combat air pollution. The Center for American Progress has argued for some time now for a broad, strategic reconsideration of government policies to secure our energy future. As Congress takes up the question of current CAFE standards, its members should consider this larger policy perspective.

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