Official reactions to the new Energy Bill and 35 mpg CAFE standard

Now that everyone has had a few days to digest the impact of the new Energy Bill that was signed by President Bush on Wednesday, what do they think? Here's a cheat sheet:
  • EDTA: "Applauds" the bill
  • National Biodiesel Board: "Praises" the bill
  • Jim Press, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President: "Praises" Congress and the President.
  • Auto Alliance: "Pleased" with the bill
  • Greenpeace: Politicians "responded by legislating on behalf of special interests rather than Americans and the future of the planet."
  • GM: "Commends" the politicians
  • Ford: says the bill will "provide a significant increase in fuel economy while protecting consumers' choices of cars, SUVs and light trucks"
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists: "[The bill] begin[s] our journey to solve global warming and achieve energy independence."
I've pasted the full text of these statements after the jump. I found the statements from GM and Ford not on the companies' official media sites, but at Four Wheel Drift, which also includes this: "No press release can beat the positive PR received by Toyota, when Congress sent the bill to the White House in a Prius - illustrating that American lawmakers couldn't find a true icon of fuel savings locally."

[Source: the organizations listed above. Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty]

From the National Biodiesel Board

NBB Praises Leaders for Signing of Energy Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), issued the following statement regarding enactment of H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007:

"The U.S. biodiesel industry praises President Bush, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the bipartisan supporters of biofuels in Congress who worked tirelessly to enact an expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). This is good public policy that meets the needs of consumers and addresses America's pressing energy security concerns by increasing the use of clean burning, domestically produced biofuels like biodiesel to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The nearly five-fold expansion of the RFS in this legislation is truly a landmark achievement.

"Of particular note, increasing the minimum renewable requirement in the diesel pool from 500 million gallons in 2009 to 1 billion gallons in 2012 will create a stable, viable domestic market for biodiesel. In addition, the fuel labeling requirements in the bill will promote consumer confidence in renewable fuels and help ensure that only quality fuels are entered into commerce.

"U.S. biodiesel producers are eager and capable of meeting the aggressive renewable goals in this bill, and our industry looks forward to doing its part to help America meet its energy security needs."

From the EDTA's Statement on the HR 6 Energy Bill

Washington, DC-December 19, 2007-The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) applauds the passage of comprehensive federal energy legislation. H.R. 6 was passed by the House and Senate yesterday, and was signed into law by President Bush today.

"While not perfect, the bill includes substantial support for electric drive, which shows Congress' growing understanding of the technology's importance to a sustainable energy policy," says EDTA President Brian Wynne. "HR 6 includes important support for electric drive research, development, demonstration, and deployment of electric drive technologies, which will result in real reductions in oil consumption and greenhouse gases and real increases in energy security and environmental quality."

Specifically, some of the bill's electric drive highlights are: authorizing $185 million annually in grants for public and private efforts to use plug-in electric drive vehicles and non-road electric drive technology; providing grants and loan guarantees for advanced vehicles, components and advanced battery manufacturing; directing that electric drive be recognized in federal fleet requirements; authorizing up to $25 billion in direct loans for advanced vehicles manufacturing; and authorizing $295 million a year for a comprehensive energy storage research and demonstration program.

"While we are disappointed that the bill does not include the critical tax incentives for electric drive that were part of a larger tax package, EDTA is pleased that Congress recognizes electric drive as a key to solving the serious problems created by oil dependence. We are ready to work with them to build on our successes in this bill in the year ahead." says Wynne.

About the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA):

EDTA, the trade association representing battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure, provides public policy advocacy, education, industry networking, and international conferences. EDTA's membership includes automotive and other equipment manufacturers, utilities, technology developers, component suppliers, and government agencies. For more information about EDTA, visit

From The Firehouse, the Chrysler Media Blog:

Jim Press, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President, speaks to reporters about the Energy Bill

The U.S. Congress on Tuesday passed the Energy Bill, which includes a 40 percent hike in fuel economy standards.

We caught Jim Press, Chrysler Vice Chairman and President, and got his thoughts on the new standards calling for cars and trucks to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Press congratulated Congress and the Bush administration for supporting the new standards.

"We're very pleased," Press said. "We commend Congress and we support the Administration signing the bill. We're committing to meeting fuel economy standards, improving the energy efficiency of our products. We're very proud to do our part to satisfy customers' desires and the nation's need to reduce greenhouse gas and reduce the country's reliance on foreign oil."

"The thing that I like about this is that we now know what the rules are of the game," he said. "Each manufacturer will be able to play its hand in its unique way. From our perspective, it's a great opportunity because we're in the best position to marry technology and not make people make sacrifices or compromises on the product they want. You want a full-size SUV, then here, you got a two-mode hybrid with cylinder activation. Full-size SUV gets gas mileage about like a Camry. So you can get a large vehicle and it still has the footprint of a smaller product. You start thinking that way, you can provide performance, you can provide style and design, utilization."

Press said a single federal regulation on fuel economy is important to keep vehicles affordable.

"It's really important to try and drive towards a single federal regulation," he said. "If you have to build a separate car for every state, the engineering and development and certification and the different specs really becomes onerous. We all share the same air. The cars drive from state to state. It's so much better to have one federal standard that is utilized, that meets the needs of everyone."

Q - Do you think that reducing the size of some vehicles, as you look at the total fleet, does that mean more vehicles with smaller engines, or can you get there with just technological improvements?

"We're going to have to use smaller powerplants, but that doesn't mean they have to be less powerful. They can be more efficient using turbochargers and direct injection and other advanced technology, multi valve. We have as you know in our vehicles, we have cylinder deactivation which is a very positive impact. And so, I think that the key will be the company that can innovate and produce the kinds of vehicles customers want, that also give them the responsible energy footprint. Anybody can make a small car, and they can make a small appliance. But we have design expertise and engineering. Our full-size SUVs will have a two-mode hybrid system with cylinder deactivation. So they'll have great mileage. They'll have mileage kind of like a Camry in a full-size SUV, so you don't have to sacrifice to get a smaller vehicle. Our technology and our innovation can give you both."

From the Auto Alliance:


The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is pleased that a new federal fuel economy standard has been signed into law. We believe this tough, national fuel economy bill will be good for both consumers and energy security. It is critical that automakers and consumers have the certainty that this national, 50-state fuel economy law provides.

Importantly, this landmark agreement establishes nationwide fuel economy requirements for the next 12 years and beyond. For the first time in more than 30 years, Congress has weighed in and established aggressive fuel economy standards that balance important environmental, energy security, safety and economic considerations. Automakers are moving forward to tackle the challenges that these new requirements will demand.

This legislation will result in a 40 percent increase in fuel economy and 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from new automobiles, enhancing our energy security while at the same time addressing climate change.

This historic legislation would not have been possible without the efforts of auto workers, dealers, suppliers, user groups and industry allies in the business community -- whose leaders and members participated in this process.

From the Union of Concerned Scientists:

House Vote Sends Landmark Energy Bill to President Bush
Statement by Union of Concerned Scientists President Kevin Knobloch

WASHINGTON (December 18, 2007) – In an overwhelming 314 to 100 vote, the House today passed historic energy legislation that raises fuel economy standards for the first time in 30 years, boosts energy efficiency standards, and requires a significant increase in biofuels production. The Senate approved the legislation late last week, and President Bush has indicated that he will sign the bill into law before the end of the year.

According to analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the bill's fuel economy and renewable fuel standards combined will save the country 2.3 million barrels of oil a day in 2020-more than what the United States currently imports from the Persian Gulf. The fuel economy provisions alone will create 149,300 jobs, and save consumers $22 billion at the pump every year starting in 2020, even after paying for the fuel-saving technology needed to meet the standards. In addition, the fuel economy standards will prevent more than 190 million metric tons of global warming emissions in 2020.

The following is a statement by UCS President Kevin Knobloch:

"For too long, America has been starved for leadership on energy policy. Today, Congress has overcome the obstacles that have blocked progress for more than 30 years. This law is a very significant, concrete and long overdue step forward. No energy legislation has ever done more for America's security by saving oil and curbing global warming pollution. The fuel economy mandate will breathe new life into a faltering domestic auto industry, prodding Detroit to design and build much more efficient vehicles that consumers are hungry to buy.

"With today's vote we begin our journey to solve global warming and achieve energy independence. We can get there by enacting a national renewable electricity standard, passing economy-wide climate legislation, and preserving existing federal and state authority to regulate global warming pollution.

From Greenpeace:

Greenpeace Statement on Passage of Senate Energy Bill

WASHINGTON - Responding to the Senate's passage of The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Kate Smolski, Global Warming Legislative Coordinator for Greenpeace USA, issued the following statement:
"Faced with two of the most critical issues of our day – global warming and oil dependency – the Senate has responded by legislating on behalf of special interests rather than Americans and the future of the planet.

"Weak fuel efficiency standards and the elimination of key renewable energy provisions may get a bill passed but they will not deliver the clean energy future this country needs. Lack of leadership from the Senate Democrats has cheated the American public and given the polluting fossil fuel companies a fat Christmas bonus.

"Greenpeace urges Congress to come back next year and pass significant legislation to curb global warming. Our children and grandchildren deserve no less. And voters in 2008 will be watching."
Lastly, I didn't see official notices on the GM or Ford media sites, but Four Wheel Drift has these notes:

Statement From Rick Wagoner, Chairman and CEO, General Motors Regarding House Passage of Energy Bill

GM commends the Congress and President for passage of an energy bill. The new fuel economy standards within the bill set a tough, national target that GM will strive to meet. We will focus our engineering and technical resources to attain these standards and we remain hard at work applying the innovation and developing the advanced technologies that will power tomorrow's cars and trucks. Addressing the nation's energy security challenges, however, will require all of us working together and we hope to see continued progress on infrastructure and market-driven mechanisms that can augment the auto industry's efforts.


* GM has an established track record of innovation and a commitment to improving the fuel economy in its cars and trucks. Years of engineering and development, and billions of research dollars have produced the GM vehicles that you see on the road today. Currently, GM offers more vehicles that achieve 30 mpg on the highway, more flex fuel vehicles that can run on E85, and groundbreaking technology such as GM's two-mode hybrid system found in our full-size light trucks. Far from standing still, GM has more cars and trucks on the way that will offer the broadest line-up of "green" technology.

Here's how GM plans to lead the industry:

* GM will continue to improve the internal combustion engine, and to dramatically intensify its efforts to displace petroleum fuels with bio-fuel alternatives such as ethanol–the best, near-term solution to actually reduce gasoline consumption. GM alone has produced over 2.5 million E-85 capable vehicles to date–more than any other automaker.

* GM is also releasing an average of one new hybrid model every three months for the next two years that includes the Saturn Vue and Aura Green Line, and Chevrolet Malibu. This year, we've introduced the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon two-mode hybrid (the only hybrid system developed and built in the U.S. at our Baltimore, MD transmission plant) that get a 50% improvement in city mileage over gas versions. This level of performance earned the Chevy Tahoe two-mode hybrid the "Green Car of the Year" award at the LA Auto Show. For next year, we'll be launching three additional two-mode hybrid versions of the Cadillac Escalade, and Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pick-ups.

* In addition, GM is significantly expanding its development work on electrically driven vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicle. This year GM launched Project Driveway, the world's largest test fleet of fuel cell vehicles, that will have 100 Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicles distributed in California, New York and Washington, DC. Also this year, two advanced battery development contracts were announced and in August, GM and A123Systems announced an additional agreement to speed development of batteries specifically designed for the Chevy Volt's extended range electrical powertrain.


The following is a statement from Ford Motor Company on the final passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 by Congress:

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 18, 2007 - "Ford has worked with lawmakers to enact nationwide requirements that provide a significant increase in fuel economy while protecting consumers' choices of cars, SUVs and light trucks. We are working to do our part to help reduce greenhouse gases and U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

This legislation will provide one clear requirement for increasing fuel economy and provide greater certainty for our product planning. Ford is committed to providing safer, more fuel efficient, quality products – in high volume – that customers want and value."

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