Bush signs diluted energy bill into law
President Bush today signed an energy bill into law that the House passed yesterday and the Senate passed last week. The bill increases fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, mandates the use of at least 36 billion gallons of biofuels a year by 2022, raises efficiency standards for some appliances, and will eventually phase out many inefficient light bulbs. “Today we make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable fuels, and giving future generations of our country a nation that is stronger, cleaner, and more secure,” Bush said at the signing ceremony. Bush had threatened to veto the bill earlier due to now-dropped provisions that required utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewables, as well as a provision that would have invested billions of dollars in renewables by cutting tax breaks and subsidies to the oil and gas industry. But Bush is hoping future generations don’t hear about that.