[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush (2007, Book II)]
[December 19, 2007]
[Pages 1569-1571]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks on Signing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
December 19, 2007

    Thank you all. Please be seated. Mr. Secretary, thank you for that introduction. We're all pleased to be 
here at the Department of Energy. I particularly want to thank the 
employees here for their daily efforts to help our country meet its 
energy needs. Thanks for your hard work. Sam, thank you for your 

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    As Sam mentioned, I firmly believe this 
country needs to have a comprehensive energy strategy, and I appreciate 
the Members of Congress for understanding that as well. Two years ago, I 
was pleased to stand with Members--many of whom are here--to sign a bill 
that was the first major energy security legislation in more than a 
decade. At the time, I recognized that we needed to go even further. And 
so in my State of the Union, I proposed an aggressive plan to reduce oil 
consumption of gasoline by 20 percent over 10 years.
    Today we make a major step with the Energy Independence and Security 
Act. We make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, 
confronting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable 
fuels, and giving future generations of our country a nation that is 
stronger, cleaner, and more secure.
    I do welcome members of the Cabinet who've joined us. I particularly 
want to thank the Speaker and the 
leader. I appreciate your leadership on this 
important issue. Speaker Pelosi is here with Congressman Steny Hoyer, 
House majority leader. Welcome, Mr. Leader. Leader Reid has brought Members of the Senate with him: Senator 
Inouye, Senator Bingaman, Senator Stevens--I think that's Senator Domenici there in disguise with a--[laughter]. Looking 
pretty handsome, isn't he? I appreciate Congressman Dingell and Congressman Markey, Congressman Gordon. 
These are all leaders on their respective committees that helped bring 
this bill to my desk. I also want to welcome all the other Members of 
Congress who've joined us.
    One of the most serious long-term challenges facing our country is 
dependence on oil, especially oil from foreign lands. It's a serious 
challenge. And Members of Congress up here understand the challenge, and 
so do I. Because this dependence harms us economically through high and 
volatile prices at the gas pump, dependence creates pollution and 
contributes to greenhouse gas admissions. It threatens our national 
security by making us vulnerable to hostile regimes in unstable regions 
of the world. It makes us vulnerable to terrorists who might attack oil 
    The legislation I am signing today will address our vulnerabilities 
and our dependence in two important ways. First, it will increase the 
supply of alternative fuel sources. I proposed an alternative fuel 
standard earlier this year. This standard would require fuel producers 
to include a certain amount of alternative fuels in their products. This 
standard would create new markets for foreign products used to produce 
these fuels. This standard would increase our energy security by making 
us less vulnerable to instability, to the instability of oil prices on 
the world market.
    The bill I sign today takes a significant step because it will 
require fuel producers to use at least 36 billion gallons of biofuel in 
2022. This is nearly a fivefold increase over current levels. It will 
help us diversify our energy supplies and reduce our dependence on oil. 
It's an important part of this legislation, and I thank the Members of 
Congress for your wisdom.
    Second, the legislation also--will also reduce our demand for oil by 
increasing fuel economy standards. Last January, I called for the first 
statutory increase in fuel economy standards for automobiles since they 
were enacted in 1975. The bill I'm about to sign delivers on that 
request. It specifies a national standard of 35 miles per gallon by 
2020, which will increase fuel economy standards by 40 percent and save 
billions of gallons of fuel. This bill also includes an important reform 
that I believe is essential to making sure that we realize this 
strategy. It allows the Department of Transportation to issue what are 
known as attribute-based standards, which will assure that increased 
fuel efficiency does not come at the expense of automobile safety. This 
is an important part of this bill, and again, I thank the Members for 
taking the lead.

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    The bill also includes revisions to improve energy efficiency in 
lighting and appliances. It adopts elements of the Executive order I 
signed requiring Federal Agencies to lead by example in efficiency and 
renewable energy use.
    Taken together, all these measures will help us improve our 
environment. It is estimated that these initiatives could reduce 
projected CO2 emissions by billions of metric tons. The U.N. 
climate change meeting in Bali last week, our Nation promised to pursue 
new, quantifiable actions to reduce carbon emissions. Today we're doing 
just that. The legislation I'm signing today will lead to some of the 
largest CO2 emission cuts in our Nation's history.
    The legislation I'm about to sign should say to the American people 
that we can find common ground on critical issues. And there's more we 
can accomplish together. New technologies will bring about a new era of 
energy. So I appreciate the fact that Congress--in the omnibus spending 
bill that I'm going to sign later on--recognizes that new technologies 
will help usher in a better quality of life for our citizens. And so 
we're going to spend money on new research for alternative feedstocks 
for ethanol. I mean, we understand the hog growers are getting nervous 
because the price of corn is up. But we also believe strongly that 
research will enable us to use wood chips and switchgrass and biomass to 
be able to develop the ethanol necessary to help us realize the vision 
outlined in this bill.
    I appreciate very much the fact that we're going to fund additional 
research on new battery technologies to power plug-in hybrids. We're 
spending money on innovative ways to capture solar power. We're making--
providing incentives for nuclear energy. If we're serious about making 
sure we grow our economy and deal with greenhouse gases, we have got to 
expand nuclear power.
    It is going to take time to transition to this new era. And we're 
still going to need hydrocarbons. And I hope the Congress will continue 
to open access to domestic energy sources: certain parts of the Outer 
Continental Shelf, in ANWR. And to protect us against disruptions in our 
oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the 
Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
    With these steps--particularly in the bill I'm about to sign--we're 
going to help American consumers a lot. We'll help them by diversifying 
our supplies, which will help lower energy prices. We'll strengthen our 
security by helping to break our dependence on foreign oil. We'll do our 
duty to future generations by addressing climate change.
    And so I thank the Members of Congress. I appreciate the fact that 
we've worked together, that we can show what's possible in addressing 
the big issues facing our Nation. This is a good bill, and I'm pleased 
to sign it.

Note: The President spoke at 10:25 a.m. at the Department of Energy. 
H.R. 6, approved December 19, was assigned Public Law No. 110-140.