There are a plenty of things that George Bush has done being the US president in the last few years that can have people debating about his decision making ability and his intent. But here is one bill he has passed that would pretty much get a support from everyone, if not completely then at least in principle. President Bush signed into law, this Wednesday, a legislation that will bring more fuel-efficient vehicles into auto showrooms and require wider use of ethanol, calling it “a major step” toward energy independence and easing global warming.
The bill signed by the US president at a ceremony held by the Energy Department lays down the law for the standard of all goods and automobiles produced by US companies and rolled in to the US market. The bill states that all automobile makers are required to raise the efficiency of their vehicles from the current minimum standard to a good 40% by the year 2020. The standard for cars today is 27.5 mpg and for trucks and SUVs 22.2 mpg. The new law increases this to 35 mpg for all vehicles uniformly.
The legislation was passed with a voting of 214-100 in favor of the bill and it was signed in the presence of both Republican and Democratic leaders who were in strong support of this new legislation. It also asks for an increase in production of ethanol use to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022. Currently US industries produce around 6 billion gallons of Ethanol each year. All these changes are designed to not only reduce emissions by increasing the use of hybrid vehicles but also ensure that the US is a lot more self-reliant in energy production.
The US fuel market is currently a bit too dependant on fossil fuel resources of the Middle East. While some might argue that the US is anyway taking a control of those oil resources in the name of war on terror, this is probably a better approach in the long term. Several other features of the bill include its support for production of Ethanol from prairie grass and wood chips. The bill also calls for improved energy efficiency of appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers, and a 70 percent increase in the efficiency of light bulbs. The bill also further strengthens the existing building standards set by LEED.
The new standards in electric lighting alone are projected to save plenty of energy and reduce carbon emissions by over 100million tons by 2020. These savings would not only come in handy in tackling the growing need for power but also would do a world of good to make the planet greener. This is a good first step and would need many more such steps to ensure that the future generations have a world to live in.