WASHINGTON – The White House, as promised, is threatening to veto energy legislation if it contains tougher fuel economy standards contained in a Senate version of the bill.
Allan Hubbard, director of the presidents National Economic Council, said in a Monday letter to lawmakers that the administration would recommend a veto of any energy bill if it combined cars and trucks under the same fuel economy target, as the Senate bill does, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Hubbard said President Bush also would receive a recommendation to veto the bill for several other reasons, such as tax increases or mandating renewable energy sources for electric utilities, the Free Press said.
The White House opposition to the Senate bill has been clear since at least late June. At the time, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman told Automotive News that the Senate bill is flawed because it sets requirements on automakers that instead should be set by executive branch experts.
The Senate version of the legislation calls for a standard of 35 miles per gallon for new cars and trucks by 2020. Toyota Motor Corp. and the Detroit 3 automakers successfully lobbied the House to not vote on the measure.