National energy bill passes but PA’s still on hold

December 19, 2007

recycle green
First the good news: I didn’t think it would ever happen, but Bush is expected to sign a Democratic-sponsored environmental bill sometime today. The bill will require that all auto fleets meet an average fuel economy of 35 mpg by the year 2020.

A lot of naysayers believe it will further hurt US automakers, but I disagree.

The bill will also require increased production of ethanol, which according to a lot of evidence isn’t much of a great thing. Congress also left intact most of the tax credits for big oil companies to the pleasure of the Bush administration.

One part of the bill that really got me excited is the bicycle commuter act, which would essentially rewards bike commuters with tax credits. It made it through the House but not the Senate version. No word on whether its included in the final bill- I’ll have to do some more digging.

Now the bad:

PA governor Ed Rendell’s sponsored energy bill is getting scaled-down by state Republican Senators. The Republican actually isn’t all that bad, it just doesn’t go far enough. The funny thing is, they stripped all ethanol requirements out of Rendell’s bill, even though he promised a veto without the ethanol requirement.

On the same topic, I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on alternative fuels and hybrid cars, since the ol’ VW Passat is getting a little worn out and will need to be replaced in the next few years.
Nisson Forum concept car
I read AutoblogGreen daily and have been learning a lot about hybrid and clean diesel vehicles. I’ve been leaning toward the new Saturn Vue hybrid which is rumored to have a plug-in option available in the next few years, then I laid eyes on this beauty from Nissan. Its just a concept car now, but man, for a minivan, its pretty schweet.


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