Our View

Dec 062007
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

The House of Representatives deserves a pat on the back.

For the first time in three decades, the House approved an increase in federal automobile fuel efficiency requirements on Thursday.

In a country with more automobiles than drivers, it’s about time that our government directs its thinking toward alternative fuels and the national energy policy.

But what about our already-existing emission-free technology? At the turn of the century, California issued a mandate requiring a certain percentage of vehicles on the road to operate at zero emissions. Many manufacturers had already manufactured battery-operated vehicles.

But the California Air Resource Board repealed the mandate under legal pressure from automobile manufacturers and the Bush administration. Manufactures have since revoked and disabled nearly every electric vehicle and its technology.

This bill, while claiming to reflect environmental consciousness, turns a blind eye to the fact that ethanol emits nearly as much carbon as regular gasoline.

So it looks like we’re back to step one with emission mandates of this bill. There is a long road to be traveled in order to make our individualized transportation system environmentally friendly and affordable.

But this is a step toward cheaper transportation, cleaner air, energy independence and energy security.

The government’s mentality toward renewable energy needs some work, but we are finally seeing some action against Big Oil. Oil companies will no longer receive billions of dollars in tax breaks that they have received in previous years.

Republican leaders sneered at the bill’s intention of promoting renewable fuels like ethanol because hindering the nation’s access to oil would increase heating costs for American families this year. It might make it through Senate, but will most likely be vetoed in the White House.

Perhaps, Big Oil can bring themselves to a donate hefty portion of their exponentially increasing profits to American families unable to afford heat

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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