June 22, 2007

Wyden Applauds Passage of Senate Energy Legislation

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement following U.S. Senate passage of the Energy bill (H.R. 5).

"Today, the Senate has taken a major step forward in setting a new course for America's energy policy, adopting provisions that will reduce the nation's use of energy, especially the use of oil.

"First, the bill includes a program developed by the Senate Energy Committee on which I sit that will replace roughly 20% of our gasoline use with renewable fuels including fuel made from biomass such as wood waste, wheat straw and other agricultural wastes and by-products.

"Second, the bill contains the first major increase in automobile fuel economy standards in a generation. Under the bill, fuel economy for the average car would rise 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 saving millions of gallons of gasoline a day.

"Third, the bill includes energy efficiency programs that will improve energy use in homes, businesses and factories. Industry uses 30% of all energy consumed and I am especially pleased that the bill includes a provision I proposed to require the U.S. Department of Energy to work with American business to make them more energy efficient and more competitive in the world market.

"While I applaud passage of this important legislation, I am deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to overcome a filibuster by supporters of the oil industry and pass a package of tax provisions that would have ended billions of dollars in subsidies to major oil companies, provided strong incentives for development of renewable energy, and extended funding for rural county payments through 2011. I remain optimistic, however, that we will be able break this legislative logjam and pass county payments and the Energy tax provisions later this session."