House Passes Energy Bill, Increases Fuel Economy Standards
The House Thursday voted to pass H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The measure would increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks, and provide for new energy efficiency and conservation standards, among other things.
The bill requires an increase annually in CAFE standards from 27.5 mpg to 35 mpg by 2020, which is estimated to cost the Highway Trust Fund $2.1 billion in lost revenue due to less fuel consumption over the next decade. While the bill would offset the $2.1 billion loss, the additional revenue raised by those offsets would be deposited into the General Fund rather than the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust Fund is currently projected to run a deficit in fiscal year 2009. If no additional revenues are found to reverse this course, federal highway funding may be reduced by as much as 40 percent nationwide.
The bill would also require the federal government to study and implement fuel economy standards for work trucks within three years.
The legislation also includes a number of provisions to provide for new energy efficiency and conservation standards in buildings, including a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption at all federal buildings by 2015, and creation of an Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings within the General Services Administration. In addition, the bill would establish an Office of Commercial High-Performance Green Buildings tasked with reducing the quantity of energy consumed by commercial buildings and achieving the development of “zero net energy” commercial buildings.
H.R. 6 passed by a vote of 235 to 181, a margin insufficient to override a potential presidential veto on the bill. The Senate is expected to take up the measure shortly.
For more information, contact Karen Bachman at email@example.com or (202) 547-4733.
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