Amanda Carpenter

President Bush signed an energy bill on Wednesday that bans traditional incandescent light bulbs and requires automakers to produce more energy-efficient vehicles.

The bill, titled the Energy Independence and Security Act, calls for higher fuel standards for cars and light trucks, mandates higher ethanol production and begins a phase out of incandescent light bulbs by 2012 because they burn too much energy.

Instead, Americans will have to purchase more expensive, longer burning compact fluorescent bulbs. Although they last longer than incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs contain small amounts of mercury and, if broken, must be handled with caution.

At his signing ceremony Bush said the bill was a “major step” toward making the United States “a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure.”

The legislation will dramatically change production for automakers and domestic energy producers.

Corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards are currently 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and 22.2 miles per gallon for light trucks. This bill increases that to new standard of 35 miles a gallon for all cars and light trucks by 2020.

It also increases domestic ethanol production by five times in order to meet an annual 36 billion-gallon requirement.

Amanda Carpenter

Amanda Carpenter is the author of “The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Clinton,” published in October 2006.
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