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Congress Plays Catch-Up with CO in New Energy Bill

December 6, 2007

Denver, CO – 'Green' is the new 'red, white and blue.' So says U.S. Representative Mark Udall of Colorado, a congressional proponent of an energy bill that would require more renewable sources of energy and raise fuel mileage standards.

"The more we can drive new green energy sources and the more we’re energy self-sufficient, the stronger our country will be."

The measure would require that utilities get 15 percent of their energy from renewables. It would also increase car and truck mileage standards to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020.

Roger Singer of the Sierra Club says increasing federal fuel efficiency standards, also called for in the measure, and implementing state emissions standards would be a 'win-win' for public health and the environment.

"We would move forward in huge steps toward improving air quality and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles."

Opponents of the standards for renewable sources say the requirements could cost jobs, while those against the higher mileage standards claim safety could be compromised. Other critics say the measure does not do enough to raise domestic oil and gas production.

The Senate is expected to vote on the energy bill by Christmas. The Bush Administration has hinted that it might veto the measure if it passes Congress.

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - CO