Hodes Votes for Landmark Change in U.S. Energy Policy
Bill includes first increase in fuel economy standards in over thirty years
Congressman Paul Hodes spoke on the House Floor today in support of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which then passed the chamber in the early afternoon by a vote of 215 to 190.
The centerpiece of this legislation is the historic increase in fuel efficiency standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. This is the first such increase since 1975, and has the support of the automobile industry and environmental advocacy groups. It is projected that this provision could eventually save New Hampshire families $700 to $1,000 per year at the pump.
In addition, this legislation:
* Makes an historic commitment to American-grown biofuels by setting targets for biofuel production, including a special requirement for rapidly increasing production from cellulosic biomass, which New Hampshire can produce in abundance from wood chips and other sources.
* Helps small businesses by increasing their loan limits to develop energy efficient technologies and increases investment in small firms developing renewable energy solutions.
* Strengthens energy efficiency, sets new efficiency standards for appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, and requires more efficient lighting.
The overall legislation is projected to cut U.S. oil consumption by more than 4 million barrels per day by 2030, which amounts to more than twice our current daily imports of foreign oil.
"Energy security and global warming are two issues that the people of New Hampshire take very seriously," Congressman Hodes said. "This is the first piece of major environmental and energy legislation in a generation set to become law. Although it is not perfect, this bill is a major step forward; it is critical to our national security and to combating global warming."
The energy bill is expected to be signed into law by the President before the end of the year.