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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

House Passes Energy Bill

The House voted 241 to 172, with 26 Republicans joining Democrats, on Aug 4 to pass an energy bill that puts the accent on renewable energy and conservation. The bill requires more energy efficiency in appliances, buildings and power grids, grants for studies to promote ethanol pipelines, installation of pumps for 85 percent ethanol fuel at as statios and production of cellulosic ethanol. The bill requires that 15 percent of electricity come from solar, wind or other renewables by 2020. The bill also calls for a carbon neutral federal government.

The House also passed an energy tax package on a vote of 221 to 189, with nine Republicans joining Democrats, that revokes $16 billions in tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.

This bill could be considered the environmentalist bill while the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was more of an industry bill favoring production of traditional energy sources, such as coal, oil and nuclear power.

Now the House bill has to be reconciled with the Senate bill, which passed in June and contains provisions to increase the average-fuel-efficiency requirements for cars. The House bill does not have a fuel economy component because of John Dingell. The Senate version requires that cars and light trucks sold in the U. S. achieve a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

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