Energy bill passes in the House

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which aims to increase fuel-economy standards, the use of alternative fuels, and renewable energy, passed the House of Representatives with a 235-181 vote.


The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which aims to increase fuel-economy standards, the use of alternative fuels, and renewable energy, passed the House of Representatives with a 235-181 vote. The will lead the way in reducing imports of oil and bring down energy costs, but the White House threatened to veto the bill because of concerns over increased taxes and energy prices.

The bill includes several upgrades and changes to the use of renewable energy sources. The bill will require vehicle fleets to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020 and it would be the first increase in fuel-economy standards since 1975. The Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed the bill and claims the increase will save 1.1 million barrels of oil a day or $22 billion by 2020. The bill will require utilities to get 15% of their power from renewable resources and the Union of Concerned Scientists says that in doing so it will save $13 billion to18.1 billion on energy bills by 2020. The bill also will increase ethanol production from 5 billion gallons a year today to 36 billion gallons a year in 2020.

The major point of contention in the bill is a $21 billion tax package that includes a repeal of $13 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies. The taxes will fund an extension of tax credits for wind, solar, and biomass power, as well as credits for hybrid cars. Although the bill passed in the House, the contention will arise in the Senate where the Democrats have a 51 to 49 majority.

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