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It was very likely because of who the audience was, but all the panelists at today's "View from the Hill" seminar at the EDTA show agreed that electric drive is the way to go for the future of the American car. Congressional staffer JJ Brown, from Senator Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) office, Pat Bousliman, the natural resources adviser to the Senate Finance Committee, and Mike Carr, counsel to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee (he also works for Senator Bingaman, D-NM), spoke about how

Last December, President Bush signed a new energy bill into law that requires automakers to achieve a Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard of 35 mpg by 2020. This historic stiffening of CAFE standards set a lofty goal, but left plenty of time to get there and new standards of any kind won't begin until the 2011 model year. Today, which happens to be Earth Day, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters laid out the first set of new CAFE rules that will be implemented for passenger vehicles

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson (shown above) has found himself with few friends after denying California's request for a waiver to regulate its own emissions. The denial was issued shortly after President Bush signed the new energy bill into law, leaving some to wonder if the auto industry struck a deal with the White House - we'll give you your energy bill if you give us one national emissions standard to follow, i.e. don't allow California to set its own set of s

var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/politics/President_Bush_signs_energy_bill_into_law'; This morning President Bush put pen to paper (no doubt one of those really cool American President pens) and signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, all 822 pages of it. As we all know by now, the pillar of the law is an increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35 mpg by 2020. The increases will be built up over time beginning with the 2011 model year, which really isn

var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/politics/Congress_approves_Energy_Bill_with_35_mpg_CAFE_standard'; Once the Senate removed a big $21.8 billion tax package that Democrats had hoped would be included in our nation's new energy bill, the bill itself began sailing through the halls of Congress. After finally being passed by the Senate on the third try, the bill returned to the House of Representatives, which has to revote on it since the Senate had trimmed a little here and added a little there.

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted on the new Energy Bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives before failing to get enough votes on the Senate floor its first time around. Today the bill again failed to pass in the Senate's hallowed hall by a single vote. The end tally was 59-40, which means Democrats much have changed a few minds since the first vote was 53-42.

Despite being passed by the House of Representatives yesterday by a 235 to 181 margin, the new energy bill reached the Senate floor this morning and failed to muster enough votes to move on to the White House, where the President has threatened a veto of it in its current state. The Senate vote was 53 to 42, a majority but still seven votes shy of the 60 it needed. This means that the Senate will now spend the weekend reworking the bill, after which it will have to go back to the House for appro

What did I tell ya? The great photo above is of Bush and Dingell from 2005 but it could have been two days ago. According to the Detroit News, the House has delayed the energy bill vote. As we reported, CAFE is largely settled and even Toyota has come out in support of the new agreement. Trouble is, John Dingell has a problem with it, and it's the same problem, it turns out, that the White House mentioned in a letter to Congress threatening to veto the bill again. So, do they just have to dot so

Recently we reported that the CAFE issue was largely settled in the energy bill. On CSPAN Monday, Edmund Andrews of the New York Times even dared to say Dingell "lost." Do not underestimate the power of the Dingell side, you have no idea of the power he possesses. Don't believe me? Let's keep in mind that, according to the Detroit News, Dingel did an interview Saturday where he said he got no help from the White House.

Bush sent a letter telling Congress what changes they can make to the energy bill so he does not veto it. Allan Hubbard wrote the letter that the White House sent to Congressional leaders (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner) with a list of "deal-makers and deal-breakers." The energy bill does not have enough votes to make the bill veto-proof, so Congress will probably read this letter very carefully.

Need a rundown of the energy policy bills before Congress? At least one man's view?

This week, Maryland congressman Steny Hoyer drove the HydrogGen3, a fuel cell vehicle based GM's Opel Zafira (a regular Zafira is pictured). The test drive at the Walker Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers in Bowie, Maryland, is the spearhead to Hoyer's plans to introduce the PROGRESS Act in Congress. The comprehensive energy bill, among its provisions, would establish a National Energy Security Commission and advocate rail transportation. Hoyer states that current federal energy polices based on more oil

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