Today’s House passage of the energy bill launches America’s low-carbon energy revolution. It waves goodbye to gas guzzlers and welcomes plug-in hybrids. It relies less on energy from the Middle East and more from the Midwest. This bill turns away from black oil and coal and toward the green promise of efficiency and renewables. Today Congress began the urgent challenge of transformation to a low-carbon economy.
This bill is revolutionary energy and economic policy. For the first time since 1975, the energy bill reduces reliance on oil, thereby enhancing national security. It powers significant investment into renewable electricity and fuels. The bill will save families money by reducing their use of costly fossil fuels. The bill’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program will create a generation of clean energy professionals. And the bill begins the long march toward the 80 percent reduction in global warming pollution necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change.
The House-passed energy bill would begin to shift our reliance from dirty, insecure fossil fuels toward cleaner, safer green energy due to the inclusion of many provisions, including:
- Average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon in 2020 for cars and light trucks
- A 15 percent renewable electricity standard
- Advanced efficiency standards for new buildings and appliances
- A mandate to produce and incentives to sell cleaner advanced biofuels
- Closing oil company tax loopholes
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, committee chairs and other members deserve applause for a bill that shifts our energy policy in a bold new direction. The Senate must promptly follow suit, and President Bush must sign this bill into law. The United States can begin 2008 on the clean energy road to a low-carbon energy future. The health of our world depends on it.