EPA Unveils List of Fuel-Efficient Cars for Congressional Leasing Program
After a two-year long uphill battle, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) succeeded in getting his pet project, a fuel-efficient tweak of the federal vehicle-leasing program, approved last year as part of the energy bill. Now, with gas prices hitting new record highs every week, the EPA has finally unveiled the list of vehicles that House members will be able to lease under Cleaver's proposal, reports McClatchy's David Goldstein.
There had been a lot of (predictable) grumbling in the House when the measure was first proposed, mostly from congressmen in western states that had complained that they needed gas-guzzling SUVs and other big cars to navigate their constituencies' "rougher" terrain. Others, of course, just didn't want to relinquish the keys to their sleek (and otherwise fuel-inefficient) sports vehicles. Members of the House who are still driving cars that didn't make the cut will be allowed to keep them until their two-year lease expires. It's not as if the list will force many to make serious cutbacks (not by a long shot), however: Aside from a few obvious picks (Prius, anyone?), it still includes a healthy number of SUVs (really?), pickup trucks and sporty vehicles.
Yes, it's a fairly disappointing list in many ways but, given the alternative, it's better than nothing. If you're curious to see what rides some prominent members are cruising around in these days, check out Andrew's previous post on the subject.