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Lawmakers Alter CAFE Rules to Reduce SUV/Light Truck Fuel Consumption

September 20, 2002

US lawmakers, on Sept. 19, approved a package of minor changes to federal fuel economy rules aimed at reducing the gasoline consumed by sport-utility vehicles and other light trucks from 2006, the Detroit News reported.The newspaper said that much of the debate centered around how much changes to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program would do to cut down on fuel consumption and reduce US dependence on foreign oil.Under CAFE, an automaker's fleet of cars must average 27.5 miles per gallon, and light truck fleets must average 20.7 mpg, the Detroit News said.The newspaper said lawmakers agreed to set a savings target of five billion gallons of fuel used by SUVs and other light trucks over seven years, beginning with the 2006 model year.According to the Detroit News, Representaive W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, a Republican from Louisiana and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said it was the first time Congress had demanded specific fuel savings targets for the growing light truck segment, which includes pickups, SUVs and minivans.The newspaper said that opponents of the plan called for tougher rules, saying the modest savings goal would boost the fuel economy of light truck fleets by less than 1 mile per gallon.
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