Breaking the addiction

Posted on December 10, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

From an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Congress is close to making history with an energy bill that would, among other things, increase fuel economy standards for the first time in more than 30 years and set the first national requirement for renewable energy standards. The House is ready to make that history, having approved the legislation on Thursday. But the Senate didn’t seem as interested in history Friday, voting to continue talking about the bill rather than actually approving it.

In the interests of a healthy economy, a healthy environment and national security, that needs to change, and senators, including Wisconsin’s own Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, would be doing their nation a real service by approving this legislation before they take their winter recess.

The bill approved by the House this week makes significant progress. Among other steps, it:

• Raises the average fleetwide standard to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40% increase over the current average.

• Requires utilities to produce 15% of electricity from renewable energy sources – such as solar, wind and biomass – by 2020.

• Calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be brought to market by 2020, five times the current standard; 16 billion gallons of that would come from biofuels made from plant material such as grass and wood chips, thus relieving pressure on corn ethanol.

• Sets efficiency standards for products such as light bulbs, dishwashers and clothes washers.

• Repeals billions in tax subsidies for oil companies and includes tax incentives for energy-efficient commercial buildings, heating and cooling equipment and super-efficient appliances.


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