WASHINGTON (AP) -- Key senators have unveiled plans to require dramatic increases in vehicle fuel economy, prompting a fight from automakers who say the proposals are a threat to increasingly popular and fuel-hungry light trucks.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, senior Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced a plan Thursday that would require cars and light trucks to average 36 miles per gallon by 2016.
A Democratic plan introduced Friday by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and the committee chairman, Sen. Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, would require a 35 mpg average by 2013.
The White House, preferring to set its own standards, is trying to organize Republican senators against these legislative proposals, a senior administration official said.
Currently, cars must attain an average of 27.5 mpg and light trucks, which include minivans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, must go 20.7 miles on a gallon.
Automakers don't have to meet the requirement for every vehicle, but the entire fleet in each category must average that mileage.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.