Washington, D.C., June 22, 2007—The Senate last night passed anti-energy legislation that will, if enacted, increase prices for consumers on an array of goods, including gasoline, automobiles and food, while doing nothing to increase supplies of affordable energy.
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“The current legislation mandates the production of billions of gallons in subsidized ethanol while simultaneously criminalizing ‘excessive’ gas prices at the pump,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Energy Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “The real price gouging is not being perpetrated by oil companies, but by the Senate, by forcing drivers to buy higher-priced ethanol.”
The bill also contains provisions which sharply increase corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for new vehicles and higher efficiency standards for a wide range of electrical appliances. Both provisions were adopted despite research showing that appliance efficiency rules have led to downgraded performance and that fuel economy regulations make vehicles less crashworthy and more dangerous to passengers.
“The one bright spot is that other terrible provisions were dropped,” said Ebell. “ For now, at least, the Senate has failed to increase consumer electricity prices by mandating a 15% renewable portfolio standard for utilities.”