Today, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which will improve vehicle fuel economy and help reduce U.S. dependence on oil.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will help reduce America's dependence on oil by:
1. Increasing the supply of alternative fuel sources by setting a mandatory Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requiring fuel producers to use at least 36 billion gallons of biofuel in 2022. Although the President proposed a more ambitious alternative fuels standard in his State of the Union Address, the RFS in the bill he signed today represents a nearly five-fold increase over current levels.
2. Reducing U.S. demand for oil by setting a national fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 – which will increase fuel economy standards by 40 percent and save billions of gallons of fuel. Last January, the President called for the first statutory increase in fuel economy standards for automobiles since they were enacted in 1975, and the bill he signed today delivers on that request. The bill also includes an important reform the President has called for that allows the Transportation Department to issue "attribute-based standards," which will ensure that increased fuel efficiency does not come at the expense of automotive safety.
The bill will require all general purpose lighting in Federal buildings to use Energy Star® products or products designated under the Energy Department's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) by the end of Fiscal Year 2013.
Auto company engineers already have begun work to find ways to meet the new fuel economy standard. While the 35 mpg requirement won't go into effect for 13 years, the Transportation Department could begin ratcheting up mileage requirements as early as the 2011 car models. Eventually, some vehicles will have to exceed the 35 mpg, while others — some SUVs, for example — may fall short as long as the overall fleet average is 35 mpg, about 10 mpg higher than today's total fleet average.