Wednesday, December 19, 2007

US energy bill a small step toward sustainability

The new US energy bill is a small step, but nowhere near what's needed to cut global warming pollution 80% by 2050, as scientists say is needed

TUCSON -- Today in DC, President Bush signed a new energy bill passed by Congress.

My Congressman, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ7) had these comments when the house passed the final bill yesterday:

"Although I believe we should go much farther in promoting renewable power and moving our nation toward a more sustainable energy future, I voted in favor...

Negotiations over the course of the year resulted in a much more modest bill than I would have preferred, but the bill does move us a few steps forward in energy policy.

Provisions that I strongly support include an increase in fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks, as well as incentives for energy efficiency and a focus on creating 'green' jobs in the renewable energy sector, which will create good-paying work opportunities for our youth.

Among other things, I do not support provisions to increase the ethanol mandate to the extent this bill does, as we are already beginning to feel the unintended consequences of increased ethanol production from corn, including higher prices for food. Other unintended results from this focus on ethanol could be damage to our lands and our waterways.

Nevertheless, I feel the good outweighs the negative in this bill, and I voted to support it. I hope that next year Congress will again take up the issue of energy and global warming, taking further steps to reduce our dependence on unsustainable fossil fuels."

I largely agree with Mr. Grijalva here.

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