On Mr. Bush & The Energy Bill

A dump wagon adds freshly gathered corn cobs to a pile on a farm near Hurley, S.D., Oct. 30, 2007. Poet is testing various cob gathering methods as part of the company's effort to make cellulosic ethanol out of corn waste. AP Photo/Dirk Lammers

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

So President Bush is going to sign the energy bill … and that bill is going to change everything from the way we drive to what our groceries cost. I know Congress has been working on this basically forever. But before the ink is dry, how about a do over?

Yes, we applaud the raising of CAFE standards. For the first time in recent memory, automobile manufacturers will have to raise the miles-per-gallon average of their fleets.

This is huge. And long overdue.

Had the U.S. had better standards in place a decade ago, Detroit would be leading the world in fuel efficient cars -- not closing down plants because gas guzzlers have gone out of style.

But, ethanol? Is a goal of 26 billion gallons of production by 2022 really a good idea? That's five times current levels. The ethanol boom has already driven the price of commodities through the roof.

Great. The air will be a little cleaner. But a loaf of bread will cost ten bucks.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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