The U.S. Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee recently passed a bill that would increase fuel efficiency standards by requiring an average of all automakers' combined passenger car and light truck fleets to 35 miles a gallon by 2019, the Dow Jones Newswires reports.
Current law requires each automaker's fleet average 27.5 miles a gallon for cars and 22.5 miles a gallon for light trucks for model year 2008.
The so-called Ten-in-Ten bill would increase fuel efficiency of the nation's combined fleets of passenger cars and light trucks by 10 miles per gallon from 2009 to 2019.
It includes an amendment that would give the administration the authority to lower the rate of annual improvement if it deems it economically unfeasible.
The bill also contains a price-gouging amendment that would give the federal government the authority to penalize oil and gas companies that allegedly hike gasoline prices in times of emergency.
According to the Dow Jones Newswires, Committee lawmakers said that the bill would likely not be passed in its present form by the full Senate and further amendments would be offered. It is scheduled to be debated in the Senate in June.