The House has started working on their version of the Energy Bill passed by the Senate last week. A number of new provisions have been added to upgrade the efficiency of electrical items ranging from dishwashers to the national grid.
The House bill, in its current version, sets grants for alternative fuels, including E85, biodiesel and plug-in hybrids. There is also a loan guarantee program for the production of advanced batteries.
But the bill is a long way from being finished. It will likely take another month for the House to pass their version. And then the Senate and House will need to get together and work out their differences.
Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, said there would be a chance to raise fuel economy in committee, on the House floor next month or when House and Senate lawmakers meet to craft a final bill later this summer. Source: U.S. House Democrats vow to press auto fuel economy - Automotive News (reg req'd)But even if Congress passes the bill with fuel economy standards raised, Bush is already threatening to veto it. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman specifically cited the standards when he said Bush would likely veto the bill as it currently stands. Bodman was also critical of:
In other words, the raising of the CAFE standards have a long way to go.