WASHINGTON -- A 35-mpg fuel economy standard is the law of the land.
President Bush signed an 800-page energy bill in a ceremony this morning at the Department of Energy. It includes the increase for cars and trucks to 35 mpg by 2020.
Bush called in his State of the Union address last January for a 20 percent cut in gasoline consumption over 10 years. Today he claimed some credit for the bill.
But it was this year's shift in political control of Congress to Democrats -- and their emphasis on cutting greenhouse gas emissions -- that made the legislation unstoppable.
Lawmakers of both parties and some industry representatives were on hand for the bill signing.
Automakers have fought big increases in fuel economy mandates for decades. But in the end they supported this year's legislation, mainly to get regulatory certainty for product planning, industry leaders said.
The bill's centerpiece is a 40 percent increase in car and truck fuel economy standards by 2020, when a 35 mpg fleetwide average is required.
The phase-in of the tougher standards starts with the 2011 model year.