Obama Statement on the Energy Bill
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement on the passage of the Energy Bill (H.R.6), which passed by a vote of 86-8:
"Our nation's energy crisis requires bold solutions, and the Senate took an important step yesterday towards reducing both our dependence on foreign oil and the harmful emission of greenhouse gases. Mirroring a bipartisan proposal I have introduced the past two years, the Senate passed legislation to end a 20-year stalemate over CAFE standards and raise the fuel economy of cars and trucks to an average of 35 mpg by 2020.
"The Senate bill also recognizes that the efforts of family farmers and local ethanol producers who have grown the ethanol industry from the ground up are being threatened by the oil industry's desire to reduce competition in the marketplace. By expanding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to 36 billion gallons by 2022, this bill will help stabilize the ethanol market, weaken Big Oil's vise-like control over gasoline pricing, and set in motion the development of cellulosic biomass technologies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address climate change. I am also pleased that the RFS now includes provisions for lower carbon biofuels and new targets for biodiesel, which I have championed.
"Although this legislation is a significant accomplishment, I am disappointed that opponents blocked the renewable electricity standard. Also, with the price of oil over $90 a barrel, some chose again to put corporate interests above the people's interests by blocking efforts to redirect tax breaks from the oil and gas industry to clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
"I commend Senator Bingaman and Leader Reid for their leadership in making this legislation a priority, and encourage my colleagues in the House to quickly move this bill forward."