Knoxville, Tenn. (December 6, 2007) – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Energy Independence and Security Act (H.R. 6): a comprehensive energy bill with provisions that promote renewable energy sources, dramatically improve and modernize automotive fuel economy, enhance energy efficiency, and boost the production of home-grown biofuels.
“As the cost oil approaches $100 a barrel, we applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a strong energy bill that will move us toward a clean, energy-efficient future while reducing global warming pollution” Stephen Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy stated. “The Southeast will benefit tremendously from this legislation as we have abundant renewable energy potential but our region has lacked the incentives contained within this bill to encourage renewable energy production and facilitate job growth.”
“A very important measure in this bill is the 15% renewable electricity standard (RES) for utilities that will dramatically increase renewable sources of electricity” Smith stated. “We are pleased to see that the House has rejected the false assumptions that the Southeast does not have renewable energy potential, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energys analysis shows that this standard will significantly boost clean energy production in our region.”
Other highlights of the bill include provisions that will
- require cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. to achieve a minimum fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, the first congressionally mandated increase in corporate average fuel economy standards, or CAFE, since 1975;
- include a $21 billion tax package providing renewable energy incentives paid for by repealing oil and gas industry subsidies and extending production tax credits for cellulosic fuels and renewable energy sources including wind and solar energy; and
- create a mandate for 36 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended with gasoline by 2022.
“By passing this energy bill, Congress has sent a clear message that they support clean technologies and new energy opportunities, thus rejecting older, polluting technologies and the exorbitant profits of utilities and big oil” Jennifer Rennicks, federal policy coordinator for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy stated. “We applaud each southeastern representative who supported this critical piece of legislation and urge our regions senators to support this bill and the President to sign it in order to deliver the gift of a cleaner energy future to America for the holidays.” # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization thatpromotes responsible energy choices that create global warmingsolutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughoutthe Southeast.