One word just keeps coming to mind...WOW.
Here's the UCS take:
HOUSE PASSES HISTORIC ENERGY BILL; SENATE'S TURN TO FOLLOW SUIT
WASHINGTON (December 6, 2007) -- Today, in a 235 to 181 vote, the House of Representatives passed a landmark energy bill containing a suite of standards that will strengthen America's energy security, save consumers billions of dollars, and dramatically cut global warming pollution.
"Lawmakers sent a clear signal that we Americans believe that technology and innovation will break our oil dependence, insulate us against rising energy prices, and fight global warming," said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). "Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues have put all the key elements in one package. It's the boldest, most responsible bill of its kind in a generation."
Notably, the bill increased the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard to a fleetwide average of at least 35 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020. The current average is about 25 mpg. A UCS analysis found that the measure would save some 1.1 million barrels of oil per day in 2020, about half of what the United States currently imports from the Persian Gulf. Consumers would save $22 billion dollars in 2020 -- even after paying the cost of the necessary fuel economy technology. Additionally, the provision would prevent more than 190 million metric tons of global warming pollution, the equivalent of taking 28 million of today's average cars and trucks off the road.
"This landmark bill will help break the nation's $1 billion-a-day imported-oil habit, ease consumers' pain at the pump, generate thousands of jobs, and cut pollution," said Michelle Robinson, director of UCS's Clean Vehicles Program. "The decades-long debate on increasing fuel economy is over. Americans will finally get the fuel-efficient cars, trucks and SUVs they need from this important first step."
The House legislation also features a national renewable electricity standard requiring major utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and bioenergy, by 2020. A UCS analysis of the proposal concluded that consumers would cumulatively save $13 billion to $18.1 billion on electricity and natural gas bills by 2020. By 2030, UCS projects that the savings would grow to $27.7 billion to $31.8 billion.
The renewable electricity standard will strengthen the nation's energy security, reducing the need for natural gas imports by as much as 2 trillion cubic feet. It will also cut global warming pollution by as much as 126 million metric tons per year by 2020, the equivalent of taking some 20 million of today's cars and trucks off the road.
"The renewable electricity standard will give us cleaner, cheaper energy," said Marchant Wentworth, Washington representative for UCS's Clean Energy Program. "The House delivered on its promise of a new energy future today. Now it's up to the Senate and the president to step up and protect the national interest."
Finally, the bill includes a renewable fuel standard (RFS) requiring an increase in biofuel production of 36 billion gallons by 2022, a sevenfold jump over current production. Twenty-one billion gallons of that fuel would have to be "advanced" biofuel, meaning that it could not be made from corn, and would have to cut global warming pollution at least 50 percent below that of gasoline, on a life cycle basis. Sixteen billion gallons of the advanced biofuels would have to be produced from cellulosic biomass and reduce global warming pollution at least 60 percent below that of gasoline. The bill stipulates that the remaining biofuels produced to satisfy the RFS emit at least 20 percent less global warming pollution than gasoline.
"This bill ensures that biofuels won't create more problems than they solve," said Eli Hopson, Washington representative for UCS's Clean Vehicles Program. "Rather than trade one nasty addiction for another, the bill includes safeguards to protect critical habitat and limit other potential environmental damage from biofuel production."
Onto the Senate we go...
Posted by: ScottN