The Senate passes a plan to increase gas mileage (CAFE) standards in cars by 2020, and the auto industry was (again) arguing against it, saying it would hurt business. Hey, if the regulators forced American companies to improve economy standards 10 years ago, there wouldn't be so many monster SUV's around sucking up gas today. And the companies would probably be in a better position financially (that is, if they could produce quality to rival Toyota or Honda).
Says the NY Times report:
The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group that has pushed for higher standards, estimated that the Senate requirements would eventually reduce American oil consumption by 1.2 million barrels a day and reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by an amount equivalent to removing 30 million of today’s cars from the road.
The plan also increases taxes on oil production (to fund alternative fuels), which brought out GOP protests even though the oil companies have enjoyed RECORD PROFITS in the past few years while ordinary Americans struggle to fill their tanks. Gas prices should not be subsidized; hell, we're in two wars right now and Americans should be encouraged to use less and sacrifice. And ethanol is no great answer either. But let's not shed a tear for the oil industry, OK?