House Passes Watered-Down Energy Bill

Feature story - August 7, 2007
When the democrats took control of Congress in November, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to start an energy revolution to combat global warming. Well, last week, the House passed an energy bill that fell short of revolutionary, but did manage to raise the flag and start the march.

So what's worse than Congress not doing enough? President Bush threatening to veto what little progress they've made.

The House fell short of Speaker Pelosi's pledge to start an energy revolution. Instead, the watered-down bill lacks the key policies scientists say we need to slow global warming: an 80% reduction in global warming causing emissions by 2050; a national renewable energy standard of at least 20% by 2020; and a significant increase in average fuel economy.

What's in the Bill?

The bill does contain mild language requiring MOST utilities to produce 15% of their electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar power (and 4% of this can be met if utilities increase energy efficiency in their plants). It also allots money for the development of alternative fuels and for increased efficiency of appliances and government buildings and outlaws the sale of 100-watt incandescent light bulbs by 2012.

What's Next?

We haven't lost hope yet, and neither should you. Earlier this year, the Senate passed a similar energy bill, containing cleaner car standards. Now, the House and the Senate will confer to create one overarching bill. We're hopeful that the bill coming out of conference will contain the strong provisions from both the Senate and House bill. If the bill that emerges from conference contains both the renewable electricity standard and the mandate for higher corporate average fuel economy, it will be the first real legislation enacted to begin tackling global warming.

Take Action >> If Congress won't start an energy revolution, it's up to YOU. Put Congress on the Hot Seat!