Sunday, December 2, 2007

Congress Close to Deal on Energy Bill

The Washington Post as well as CNN are reporting this weekend that congressional lawmakers are close to a final deal on an energy bill. And it will likely mean a bill will be passed before Christmas. With gasoline at all-time high price levels, it will likely not face a veto by President Bush.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. John Dingell, (D-MI) have apparently made an agreement which clears the way for a House vote on an energy bill. The agreement will require automakers to meet an industry-wide average of 35 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks, including SUVs, by 2020. This is the first increase by Congress in car fuel efficiency standards in 32 years.

In addition, ethanol will be required to be used as a motor fuel and increased up to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, a sevenfold increase over today's production. And according to Rep. Markey (D-MA):
"Our goal is over the next 10 to 15 years [to] see a revolution that results in a dramatic increase in SUVs and automobiles that can use these new fuels and the number of Americans that can use them," Markey said, "so that we can back out more millions of barrels of oil that come from OPEC every day." - CNN
Senate leaders appear to be pleased with the House progress and have pledged support to pass the legislation this year.
"It is a major milestone and the first concrete legislation to address global warming," declared Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who was involved in the discussion with House Democrats as the agreement with Dingell was worked out." - Washington Post
Voters concerned about the legislation should call, write or email their legislators. Click HERE to search the congressional directory for contact information.

Finally, for a rather positive environmental perspective on this agreement, check out the NRDC's Nathanael Green's blog entry, House Dems Strike Deal on CAFE, RES and RFS .

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Food and Fuel

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(refiners gasoline OPEC American petroleum institute API)

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