The House passed and President Bush signed energy legislation that sets new renewable fuel goals and raises the average fuel economy standard for automobiles for the first time in 32 years.

The Energy Independence and Security Act, which President Bush signed today, requires the country to work toward the production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. Automakers would have to increase the average mileage of new vehicles to 35 mpg by 2020.

The bill passed the House by a 314-100 vote Tuesday (Dec. 18) after a bruising battle in the Senate in which Democrats sought to eliminate $13 billion in tax incentives a Republican-controlled Congress gave the oil industry in 2005. The bill passed the Senate by an 86-8 margin after Senate leaders agreed to pull the language.

National Corn Growers Association members were ecstatic over the passage of the bill, which had been given up for dead more than once in recent weeks. The bill requires that 15 billion of the 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels come from corn with 20 billion from cellulosic-based ethanol and 1 billion from biodiesel.

To read the rest of this article about the energy bill that became law yesterday, click here. For a fact sheet about the energy bill, click here