Putting the Brakes on Gas Hogs; Bush Plans for Israel Visit

Behind The News
December 18, 2007 1:16:24 PM PST
Putting the Brakes on Gas Hogs; Bush Plans for Israel Visit Global warming? What global warming? That seemed the attitude for way too long in Washington. And the hard truth is we all are acting to some degree irresponsibly when it comes to limiting the toxic and polluting emissions we generate. But now there are signs that those who closed their eyes to the problem are opening them a bit.

In Washington today, Congress - by a huge margin - approved the first mandatory increases in car fuel economy in 32 years. The energy bill passed today boosts mileage by 40%, to 35 miles per gallon. The bill is being hailed as historic - but there are many who question the sense of urgency: the mandate doesn't take hold till 2020.

The bill now goes to the White House for Pres. Bush's signature. We'll have the details and what it means for your energy consumption, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, and speaking of Mr. Bush, the White House today released details of the President's first trip to Israel. One year and nearly two weeks before his last day in office, Mr. Bush will travel first to Israel, then to the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

We can only guess the kind of security problems that await him and his entourage. But the President trying to make good on his newly found desire to help broker peace in the Middle East, and traveling there as he begins his last year in office. We'll have reaction tonight.

We'll also have the latest -- and presumably nearly the last -- development in the disappearance of 19-year-old college student Natalee Holloway. After re-arresting the three young men who were suspected in her presumed death, and then re-releasing them, the prosecutor's office in Aruba has decided to close the Holloway case. The parents of Ms. Holloway were told of this by telephone and by fax.

What an embarrassment for the Aruban authorities. If you have money to hide, hide it in Switzerland. We know that. If you have a body to hide, it might now be said, hide it in Aruba.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast and Marvell Scott (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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