WASHINGTON (June 28)—The Senate has passed a wide-ranging energy bill that includes an amendment by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., calling for a national fuel efficiency rule for tires.
The amendment, which the tire industry opposes, would require that the rolling resistance on replacement tires be no greater or less than that of original equipment tires. California, which passed an identical bill in 2003, is now studying whether the law will compromise tire safety, performance and recycling too much to enforce, and the Massachusetts legislature is also considering a nearly identical measure.
The House version of the bill, which passed in April, does not contain a tire fuel efficiency provision. This will be one of many issues the House-Senate conference on the energy package will have to consider; the highest-profile one will be the House provision, not in the Senate bill, to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.