Senate Passes Scaled-back Energy Bill
The U.S. Senate has approved an energy bill to raise fuel-economy standards and boost production of ethanol and other biofuels.
The measure (H.R. 6), received a 86-8 vote without two
House-approved provisions: a $13 billion tax increase on oil companies
and a requirement that utilities nationwide produce 15 percent of their
electricity from renewable sources. Senate Republicans were opposed to
both provisions, and the White House threatened to veto the measure, in
part, over the tax hike.
While Senate Democrats were disappointed with the removal of the
provisions, they stated that the bill is still a historic
"Compromise can be frustrating, it can be exasperating, and it can
be maddening. But at the end of the day, compromise can lead to
progress -- and that is exactly what we have," said Sen. Harry Reid
The bill's hallmark provision would boost Corporate Average Fuel
Economy standards to a fleetwide average of at least 35 miles per
gallon by 2020. This represents an increase of more than 10 miles per
gallon from the current fleetwide average, according to the Union of
Concerned Scientists. The bill also would bolster the country's
Renewable Fuels Standard, requiring the production of as much as 36
billion gallons by 2022.
The House is expected to approve the bill this week.
For more information on the bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov, a Web site of the Library of Congress.