Earlier this year, U.S. environmental groups and automakers met with congressional members to back a tax credit for fuel-efficient hybrid cars. Now enviros are saying the auto industry has violated the spirit of the agreement by pushing for tax credits for hybrid SUVs with low mileage ratings. Under a House bill, for example, a hybrid Dodge Durango getting only 22 miles per gallon — five more miles per gallon than a conventional Durango — would qualify for a tax credit. David Friedman of the Union of Concerned Scientists says, “What we should be rewarding is how little fuel a vehicle uses, not how much it saves compared to how inefficient it was before it was made.” Enviros hope to have better luck in the Senate.
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