Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Energy Bill Discussions Heats Up

Congress is about to get serious in trying to pass an Energy bill to send to the President.

Gas mileage would go up under the compromise reached by Congressional leaders last week, but not as high as the trumpeted numbers. And despite the tougher 35 m.p.g. standard, a growing population of drivers would push up total fuel use, as well as greenhouse gas emissions — but not as rapidly as would occur without the legislation.

But not all in Congress are happy about it:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday threw cold water on a major energy bill that Democrats are hoping to pass before the end of the year, saying it contains "troublesome" measures that would force electric utilities to generate a greater share of their power from renewable sources.

"That would be very troublesome for all of us in the Southeast," McConnell told reporters. "That's a mandatory rate increase and would produce a lot of difficulty."

Included in the energy is a biofuels blending mandate:

As both houses of Congress work together to craft and pass unified energy legislation before the end of the year, the Senate and the House of Representatives have each brought forth a 15 billion gallon renewable fuel standard for consideration. This is terrific news for U.S. corn farmers, said Ron Litterer, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

“We’ve always believed 15 billion gallons was possible to achieve by 2015,” Litterer said. “It is a necessary element in any sensible energy security package and we hope to see it in the final Energy Bill package.”

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