Going Green: U.S. Energy Bill Breakthrough
For anyone who hasn’t heard the cheer ringing coast to coast, President Bush finally signed into law a bill paving the way for a cleaner energy future. According to the Care2.com citizen petition site, it marks the first increase in fuel economy standards since 1975. New cars and light trucks now must deliver an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, saving American families $25 billion at the pump (at an annual clip of $700 to $1,000 per family). More, a national renewable electricity standard will collectively save consumers another $13 billion on their utility bills by 2020.
Supporting measures call for bumping up renewable fuels to 15 percent of utility power, setting new energy efficiency standards on home appliances, and starting in 2012, the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights are now “the done thing”.
Projections look for the United States to save as much as twice the volume of oil we now import from the Persian Gulf, a 40 percent drop in greenhouse-gas emissions and a minimum 10 percent decrease in electricity use by 2030.