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. >>(Continued to avoid spam filter)

    Spam filter? What spam filter, Kemo Sabe??

    Just put in a couple of refs to “buy ambien onlune”, and you’ll be good to go.

  2. Li says:

    The Aptera should get around 300 MPG, next year.

    And the congress can’t even get 35 MPG by 2020! Who says the oil companies aren’t perfectly plum pleased either way in this situation?

  3. Li says:

    One other pet peeve; since when did we think it was ethical to starve people to -death- by skyrocketing grain prices so that we could fill up our cars and trucks? This is the effect of food based fuel ethanol, a clearly visible effect of our economic policies that will only get worse if we continue to follow this foolish course. The fact that we did this after destroying the agrarian economies of our neighbors to the South with subsidized corn and wheat makes the crime even more egregious, and the floods of starving immigrants that will run across our border for decades to come all the more ironic.

  4. TheGlobalWarmer says:

    Completely unethical and immoral to try and legislate a lower standard of living on people. This type of thing should be vetoed forever.

    The purpose of our government is to find ways for us to have more, not less.

  5. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    #34 Li, cool link to that Aptera website, but there’s one very disturbing scene in the animation… old people on the beach! Oh, my retinas are scarred!!! 😉


    And #36 TheGlobalWarmer writes “Completely unethical and immoral to try and legislate a lower standard of living on people.”

    And you’re contrasting this with the ethical and moral military action designed to guarantee unfettered access to the natural resources of foreign countries??? Policies that can reduce U.S. motivation to wage war in competition for limited world resources are not nearly as immoral as you seem to think.


    My own energy plan consists of sending teams of nuns with rulers around to every neighborhood to rap the knuckles of energy wasters. That’s a lesson people won’t soon forget.

    Finally, here’s a blast from the past… from a simpler time in America, when GWB had recently been elected and his administration was trying to set a positive tone for our energy outlook… click here (short Flash video)

  6. MikeN says:

    GF, the six months of oil comes from taking the estimated oil supply and dividing by how much the US uses. It is meant to convince people that the oil will run out in 6 months, so never mind. Now if you are claiming that you can get 5% of the US oil supply from ANWR then presumably that would mean that you are estimating more oil or that it will run out in ten years or less.

  7. the Three-Headed Cat says:

    How I miss the Good Old Days, when our very own Man Behind The Curtain, the Dickster hisself, could invite a bunch of his old buddies from the energy industries that profit mightily off the American taxpayer, and chat with ’em about how the govt can help them siphon even more out of the taxpayers’ pockets.

    And when the people asked who he was chatting with, and about what, he could just tell everyone to fuck off, it was none of their damn business.

    Aah, yes, things were so much simpler then…

  8. MikeN says:

    If the oil lobby is what is blocking this, then I say hooray for the oil lobby. I wouldn’t mind having a few billion dollars of taxpayer money be handed to them either.

    I would prefer that Democrats stop trying to force people into their preferred way of life, and that they cut off the goodies to oil companies and other big companies, but that doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…


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