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President Bush signs new Energy Bill for MPG increase

Filed under: Energy — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Paddy Wallbouncer @ 1:38 pm 2007 December 21

President Bush signed a new law requiring vehicles to be more fuel efficient. The bill required automakers to increase fuel effieiency of their lines to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. It also has provisions to increase production of Ethanol – a bio friendly fuel, to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The bill was hotly contested in congress in the beginning because their were also provisions for a $21 billion tax increase. Once the tax provisions were dropped the bill was approved.

The 35 miles per gallon -mpg (9.2 miles per litre) federal standard will includes passenger cars SUV’s and small trucks. Today the standard is 27.5 for cars and 22.2 for SUV’s and trucks. Refineries will have to increase to 36 billion gallons, the use of ethanol from about 6 billion gallons. Further, the bill requires that the biofuel comes from a source other than corn. Which means prarie grass and wood chips will become sought commodities, and it will not necessarily increase the cost of human foodstuffs. –Or at least that is the intent.

Much of the bill seems to be capital hill puffery since demand for lower energy costs will drive most of the “law.” For example: the law mandates a 70% increase in lightbulbs which is already realized with the advent of fluorescent light bulbs. The good news is that it requires their use in federal buildings. The government costs will go up initially for their purchase, but then lower as the cost of energy to use the new technology is realized.

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