Senate Passes Energy Bill

An increase in automobile fuel economy and new laws against energy price-gouging - those are some of the provisions in an energy bill passed by the Senate.

The legislation would also require huge increases in the production of ethanol.

If it becomes law, the auto industry will have to boost average fuel economy by 40 percent to 35 miles-per-gallon for cars SUVs and pick-up trucks by 2020.

Majority Leader Harry Reid held off the vote until late into the evening, so several Senators could be called back to Capitol Hill to provide the 60-vote margin needed to overcome a threatened filibuster.

Shortly before midnight, Senators voted 62-to-32 to cut off debate and followed by passing the bill 65-to-27.

The measure now awaits action by the House.

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