Thursday, April 07, 2005

Here Comes the Sun, But Don't Touch My SUV 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday approved a proposed amendment to reduce American oil usage by approximately 10,000 barrels per day by starting daylight savings time a month early (in early March) and ending it a month later (in late November). The theory is that this will allow businesses to rely less on electric lighting during business hours, and perhaps also encourage shopping in urban areas, by having more daylight hours during the business day.

However, the same committee yesterday rejected a separately proposed amendment that would "require the federal government to find a way to cut U.S. oil demand by 1 million barrels a day by 2013." This proposal was opposed by representatives from districts with automakers, who argued, "it was backdoor way to require U.S. mini-vans, sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks to improve their fuel efficiency."

God forbid automakers should have to make their products more fuel efficient. According to the article, gasoline use makes up 40% of US oil demand. It does seem like an obvious place to look when seeking ways to reduce oil dependency. Not to mention reducing the pollutants generated in the processing and use of all those barrels of oil and subsequent gasoline products.

The amendments were proposed for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the committee print of which can be viewed here.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:34 PM