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.

  1. MikeN says:

    By the way, the fuel requirement for cars is now not fleet-wide, but industry wide. So GM Ford and Chrysler can lower their fuel mileage, while Honda and Toyota will have to increase theirs, since they make fewer SUVs. I’m not sure how they police this though.

  2. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    #39 Three-Headed Cat, you sound so cynical of the deep secrecy of those White House energy policy meetings with the Dickster. I’m sure a very high moral tone was established when the Enron execs led the group in prayer at the start of their little greed-fest.

    Let’s also not forget that it was Senator Ted Stevens, now under FBI investigation for oil-related corruption in another case, who presided over Senate hearings at a later date where oil company executives were called to testify. At those hearings, Stevens refused to grant the request of a Democratic colleague who asked that the oil execs be sworn in before giving testimony to the committee. It was later discovered that several of those executive lied to the committee, but could not be prosecuted for perjury as a result of Stevens’ decision.

    Apparently, not everyone involved in the oil industry is as honest as Jed Clampett.

  3. the Three-Headed Cat says:

    Just wait. Any minute now, RBG will be in here and clear up that whole Cheney-energy cabal-Stevens thing for us, and while he’s at it, set us all straight on this misconception that the Republicans have anything other than the best interests of the average citizen at heart, good Xians that they are…