President Signs Energy Bill

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President Signs Energy Bill

WASHINGTON -- President Bush signed legislation into law yesterday that will mandate more fuel-efficient vehicles and require wider use of ethanol, The Associated Press reported.

"I firmly believe this country needs to have a comprehensive energy strategy," said Bush before signing the bill, according to the AP.
The legislation, which was signed by Bush at a ceremony at the Energy Department, requires an increase in fuel efficiency by 40 percent to an industry average 35 miles per gallon by 2020, along with a boost in ethanol production and use to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, the AP reported.

There, Bush said the new requirements will help "address our vulnerabilities and dependency" on foreign oil through the reduction of demand for gasoline and by diversifying the nation's fuel supply, the report stated.

"We make a major step ... toward reducing our dependence on oil, fighting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable fuels and giving future generations ... a nation that is stronger cleaner and more secure," the president said.

Bush praised provision that would spur the development of ethanol from cellulosic feedstocks such as prairie grass and wood chips instead of food, the report stated.

"We understand the hog growers are getting nervous. The price of corn is up," the president said.

The fuel economy requirements will save motorists $700 to $1,000 a year in fuel costs, while reducing oil demand by 1.1 million barrels a day by the time the new fuel economy standards are widely on the road, according to Democrats cited by the AP.