Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders hopes to use the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf to help garner support for legislation he recently introduced. If passed, the bill would place a permanent ban on offshore drilling and increase fuel efficiency standards well beyond the numbers introduced by the Obama administration. Sanders recently applauded the announcement that offshore drilling would be temporarily halted, but would rather see a permanent ban on the nation's Eastern and Western coasts.
Drilling concerns aside, the Senator also seeks a substantial increase in fuel economy standards over the next 20 years. Sander's Clean Coasts and Efficient Cars Act of 2010 aims to increase standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030. The Senator believes that increased fuel economy standards will help the U.S. keep up with other countries and lead to decreased gas prices due to less demand. The Senator actually claims that his proposed fuel economy standards would "translate to a savings of $1.43 per gallon of gas," but we're thinking he probably fudged a few numbers to come up with that amount. While we support the goal of the Senator's legislation, it's just a shame that the government, Sanders included, waited for disaster before responding. As Sanders remarked:
But we think that it really shouldn't work that way. Many problems can be averted before they surface and reacting only after a dire situation presents itself is really backwards thinking, don't you think?If there is a silver lining in this terrible ecological disaster, it should be that we wake up and understand that right now we've got to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, away from offshore drilling and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
[Source: HybridCars | Image: USCGpress - C.C. 2.0]