Bush signs landmark energy bill

George Bush has given the seal of approval to a new energy bill that aims to reduce the USA's dependence on oil and tackle climate change.

President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act at the end of last year, promising his nation a “stronger, cleaner and more secure” future.

The bill sets mandatory standards for the production of biofuels and a national fuel economy standard for vehicles.

The legislation aims to build on the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and also includes provisions to improve energy efficiency in lighting and appliances and to reduce the carbon footprint of the country’s Federal agencies.

At the official signing, President Bush said: “It is estimated that these initiatives could reduce projected CO2 emissions by billions of metric tons.

“At the U.N. climate change meeting in Bali, our nation promised to pursue new, quantifiable actions to reduce carbon emissions. Today we’re doing just that.

“The legislation I’m signing today will lead to some of the largest CO2 emission cuts in our nation’s history.”

He added: “We’ll do our duty to future generations by addressing climate change.”

The bill will require fuel producers to use at least 36bn gallons of biofuel by 2022 – nearly a five-fold increase over current levels, although less ambitious than the standard proposed by the President in his State of the Union Address last year.

It will also increase fuel economy standards by 40% by setting a national standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

All Federal buildings will have to use energy-efficient lighting and new efficiency standards will be set for household appliances.

Another major step will be to establish an Office of High Performance Green Buildings to promote green building technology in Federal buildings.

Kate Martin

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