A Vote for the Future

Heads are still spinning here.

This transpired in just the past hour: After a press conference announcing a compromise on fuel economy standards, featuring enough Republican supporters to protect it from an assault led by Senators Pryor, Levin, Bond and Voinovich, Senators went to the floor and approved by voice vote an amendment by Senator Stevens to the base bill.

While the amendment waters down the original proposal, it preserves the requirement to achieve 35 miles per gallon across the car and truck fleet by 2020. That will save hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, cut billions of tons of global warming pollution and save consumers billions of dollars.

Barring eleventh hour theatrics of some kind it appears that, for the first time in eons, the auto industry lost in their bid to cast raising standards as the end of the world, in chicken-little fashion. Instead, they will now provide us with more efficient (and cleaner) cars and trucks. This was a vote for our families and for our future.

As a friend in a Senate office who fought to make this happen said ecstatically: "There is hugging and kissing going on here."

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