The U.S. Senate passed the massive $16 billion energy bill?HR 6?on June 28 on an 85-12 vote. Energy company associations praised the bill. The Electric Power Supply Association said it will ?help make sure [competitive market] opportunities are realized.? The National Hydropower Association declared that it ?repairs the long-broken hydropower licensing process.? Consumer groups? primary problem with the bill is its repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act. The 1935 bill was enacted to bring order to the burgeoning utility industry and protect consumers. In repealing the act, the Senate bill would give some small additional merger authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but the House is vowing to eliminate that in conference, according to Lynn Hargis, Public Citizen attorney. ?The only thing that can save PUHCA at the moment is the fact that China is attempting to buy Unocal. We are pointing out that PUHCA repeal will allow China to buy our public utilities as well. Indeed, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison might be prime targets, since they are on the Pacific Coast,? Hargis said. Environmentalists said little about the bill?s passage because of its support for renewables and because it includes no authority for oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. They disparaged the subsidies to nuclear power but support research into finding less polluting technology to apply to coal power and reducing greenhouse gases. Kept out of the bill was language that would open ANWR. The Senate bill has a renewables component, calling for 10 percent of the nation?s energy portfolio to come from renewable sources?although the definition of renewables is far looser than that under California?s renewables portfolio standard. The House bill passed earlier this year has no such renewables requirement (<i>Circuit<\/i>, April 22, 2005). In addition to the direct $16 billion cost of the measure, the Senate bill also includes about $18 billion in tax incentives for everything from coal sequestration research to using new nukes for hydrogen production (<i>Circuit<\/i>, May 27, 2005). The House version provides $8.1 billion. A House-Senate conference committee will be set up to kludge the two bills together. ?Our task is to keep our bipartisan bill from being undermined in conference,? stated Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico). Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico), the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the president expects a bill on his desk by August.