Bono: Energy Bill Strong Step but More Work Ahead
Emphasizing the need to develop clean, alternative energy, Congresswoman Mary Bono (CA-45) today voted in favor of the comprehensive energy legislation, H.R. 6. The bill, which includes a provision for energy-efficient federal buildings and increased gas mileage standards, passed by a vote of 314-100 this afternoon in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is expected to reach the President's desk in coming days. The President has indicated his support for the legislation.
"As a nation, we must embrace market-driven technologies that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels," said Bono. "This bill takes a strong step in the right direction - it would improve the gas mileage of our vehicles to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, expand production of renewable energy, and support further development of clean, alternative sources of fuel."
Bono has consistently been a proponent for increasing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, both in the Energy and Commerce Committee, on which she sits, and on the House Floor.
This energy bill also includes a provision to increase the energy-efficiency of federal buildings. Bono has led this effort by joining her colleague, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), in introducing the High-Performance Green Building Act (H.R. 121) in both the 109th and the 110th Congress, and strongly supported its inclusion in the energy bill passed today.
"The federal government should lead efforts to promote the construction of environmentally-sound buildings. With building operations accounting for 40 percent of our energy use nationwide, this provision will not only save taxpayers' money but also encourage further development and use of energy-efficient building designs.
"While I am pleased to support this legislation, I am disappointed that it didn't more directly address the ever-increasing strain on our nation's energy supply. Continued research and development of alternative energy is critical, but we must also support further domestic energy options that utilize existing technology. Additionally, I am concerned that the renewable fuel standards of this bill may place too strong an emphasis on corn ethanol, which would have a negative spill-over effect on our agricultural communities and on our food prices. I will continue to work to ensure that such issues are addressed through my work in the Energy and Commerce Committee," said Bono.