New energy legislation called the Clean Energy Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Act of 2006 was introduced in the U.S. Senate on May 19. The bill seeks to reduce America’s petroleum consumption by 6 million barrels a day (40 percent of projected imports) by 2020.
Written by Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell, the Clean EDGE Act includes a requirement that by 2010, 25 percent of new vehicles sold in the United States be flexible-fuel capable, a number that increases to 50 percent by 2020. To meet the future needs of more flexible-fuel vehicles on the roads, the bill sets a national goal of installing alternative fuel refueling pumps at 10 percent of the country’s gas stations by 2015. To accomplish this, retailers and local governments will receive support and major integrated oil companies that own refueling stations will be mandated to install alternative fuel pumps. The bill also extends incentives for the purchasing and manufacturing of hybrids and other advanced technology vehicles.
The Clean EDGE Act includes a stipulation that the federal government must reduce its own petroleum consumption by 20 percent in five years and 40 percent by 2020. The bill also provides bond-issuing authority to states and local governments for projects that reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, develop non-petroleum fuels, and invest in efficient vehicles and alternative fuel infrastructures and transit.
“America today is nearly 60 percent dependent on foreign oil,” said Cantwell. “For the sake of our security and our economy, Americans cannot afford that dependencyand we won’t accept it. We are going to make America more secure and more competitive, and we are getting started today.”