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Latest Energy Bill Excludes Automobile Fuel Efficiency Standards

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  • Mike Neuman
    Latest Energy Bill Excludes Automobile Fuel Efficiency Standards Not a wise trade. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases and hazardous
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 20 10:14 AM
      Latest Energy Bill Excludes Automobile Fuel Efficiency Standards

      Not a wise trade. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse
      gases and hazardous ozone levels (at ground level) in the U.S..

      Congress needs to include energy efficiency and conservation
      incentives for all fuel burning sources in the energy bill, and not
      exclude any.

      For a proposal to encourage conservation, click on the following:

      CONSERVE, NOW! to reduce GHG emissions

      Congress lifts energy-efficiency goals
      Appliance rules, tire campaign, voluntary industry action

      By Stephanie I. Cohen, MarketWatch
      July 19, 2005

      WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Consumers could see more energy savings
      thanks to a proposal adopted by Congress on Tuesday calling for
      tougher appliance standards, voluntary efficiency improvements by
      industry, and extended daylight savings time.

      But lawmakers shied away from including controversial policies that
      would improve vehicle mileage or dramatically cut U.S. oil demand in
      order to reach a compromise on one of several pieces of a broad
      energy bill they are trying to iron out.

      The efficiency measures negotiated by a group of lawmakers will be
      part a broad energy bill that could hit the president's desk within
      weeks. Other sections of the bill still being discussed include oil
      and gas, coal, hydrogen, renewable energy, nuclear power, and tax

      The efficiency compromise draws on separate versions of energy
      legislation approved in the House and Senate earlier this year and
      comes after four years of debate and failed attempts to cobble
      together a bill both sides could agree on.

      The final compromise garners support of energy efficiency
      advocates. "We're certainly very pleased," said Lowell Ungar, policy
      manager for the Alliance to Save Energy, adding that the
      compromise "will result in significant energy savings" for consumers.

      The proposal would require higher standards for an array of household
      appliances. In some cases, lawmakers also proposed first-time
      standards for commercial products currently without efficiency goals.
      Products affected include commercial refrigerators, freezers, ice
      makers, air conditioners, clothes washers, and ceiling fans.

      It would also extend day light savings time by two months, which
      means a majority of Americans would experience more daylight during
      waking hours, in turn cutting electricity use. The proposal would
      lead to daylight savings being observed from March through November
      rather than April through October.

      Additionally, the net energy savings of the bill may increase further
      once lawmakers produce a final draft of the tax title of the bill
      they are negotiating, which could contain a number of credits for
      energy efficient homes and businesses.

      Fuel economy, oil savings skipped

      The compromise put forward on Tuesday excluded language contained in
      the Senate-passed energy bill that would have required the president
      to draft a plan to save 1 million barrels of oil a day.

      But several senators said Tuesday the provision is still alive and
      they are working to attach a version of the measure to the final
      draft of the energy bill.

      "It is our intention to offer it, or something else like it," said
      Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the author of the Senate version.

      Both House and Senate lawmakers negotiating the energy bill agreed on
      Tuesday they would leave the efficiency section of the bill open to
      additional amendments in the coming days as they try to reach a deal.

      The U.S. imports roughly 58% of its oil supplies today and is
      projected to use roughly 24.7 million barrels of oil a day by 2015,
      up from an estimate of 20.9 million barrels a day in 2005, according
      to the Energy Department.

      The compromise reached on the energy efficiency provisions does not
      call for an increase in fuel economy standards for new cars and
      trucks -- an area where a jump in standards would achieve the
      greatest oil savings, Ungar said, since the bulk of oil imported into
      the U.S. goes into consumers' fuel tanks.

      The one provision in the efficiency section that addresses vehicle
      fuel economy would create a federal education program to help vehicle
      owners purchase more energy efficient replacement tires for their
      cars and trucks.

      The efficiency proposal would also authorize the federal government
      to sign up industrial businesses that use large amounts of energy to
      produce goods for voluntary agreements to reduce the energy intensity
      of their facilities.

      The proposal would also provide $2.5 billion in funding for low-
      income families to weatherize their homes. These funds allow
      homeowners to improve the efficiency of boilers, furnaces, and
      windows to reduce energy use.

      The bill increases the federal funds available for low income homes
      to pay their heating and cooling bills to $5.1 billion a year up from
      $2 billion.

      Once the lawmakers finish negotiating a compromise on the other
      sections of the energy bill, both chambers of Congress will vote on
      the legislation. Lawmakers are trying to complete their work by
      August to meet a deadline set by President Bush, who has made energy
      policy a top agenda item.

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