Democrats hope to show voters that they’re breaking with six years of policies by Bush and the Republican-led Congress, which focused on boosting domestic energy supplies, especially oil, gas, nuclear and coal. The new bill instead emphasizes conservation by increasing energy-efficiency standards for lightbulbs, appliances and buildings and offering a $3,000 tax credit to consumers who buy plug-in electric hybrids.
The bill would, for the first time since 1975, raise the fuel economy standard from the current average of 27.2 miles per gallon for cars and 22.2 mpg for light trucks to a fleetwide average of 35 mph by 2020. The measure also would increase the use of ethanol and other biofuels from 9 billion gallons next year to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
Republicans belittled the measure as a “no-energy energy bill,” because it would not boost production of oil, natural gas or coal…
Some of the features of the bill:
— Raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
— Require electric utilities to get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.
— Repeal $21 billion in tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.
— Provide $3 billion to states for tax credits for homeowners who make their homes more efficient, buy energy-efficient appliances or install solar panels or geothermal heat pumps.
— Offer $9 billion in tax incentives for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, small irrigation hydropower, ocean tides, landfill gas, and trash combustion energy.
— Give plug-in electric hybrid owners a $3,000 tax credit, and let employers offer workers a $240 per-year, tax-free benefit for biking to work.
What’s-his-name has vowed to veto the bill. Of course.