Saturday, 22 June 2024

Congress increases fuel efficiency standards for first time in 32 years

President George W. Bush signs into law HR 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.


WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a final version of the Energy Independence and Security Act, landmark energy legislation that will make our country more energy independent, cut energy costs for families and reduce global warming.

The legislation was passed by a vote of 314-100. President George W. Bush signed the bill Wednesday.

“The Energy Independence and Security Act is an historic step toward improving our environment and decreasing our dependency on foreign oil,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “This legislation is going to have a tremendous impact on our country’s future and will save Americans billions in gas and energy costs.”

HR 6 will increase vehicle fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon in 2020 – the first congressional increase in 32 years – and slash U.S. oil consumption by more than 4 million barrels per day by 2030. The legislation also expands the use of American-grown biofuels to 36 billion gallons in 2022 and increases the efficiency of buildings, homes, appliances and lighting.

“Millions of American families are struggling with the rising cost of energy and gasoline,” added Thompson. “This bill sets our country on a course toward reining in these prices while simultaneously conserving our natural resources.”

Unfortunately, provisions in the original bill that would have strengthened and extended tax credits for renewable energies like solar, geothermal and biomass were dropped by the Senate in order to secure a majority of support, Thompson's office reported.

“These provisions would have helped American households and businesses save money and reduce their carbon footprint. I’m extremely disappointed they were removed by the Senate,” said Thompson. “However, I’ll work to ensure we complete the greening of our tax code as soon as possible next year.”

Thompson voted to support the bill when it was previously in the house several weeks ago. However, for the next several weeks he is recovering from surgery at his home in St. Helena, according to his staff, so he did not vote on the bill in its final form.


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