Federal Energy Bill Deal Announced

By Published On: December 14, 2003

Wind is in, nuclear is in and so is the Alaskan natural gas pipeline under the deal reached on the federal energy bill announced November 14. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), however, is out. The agreement is among Republican conferees and still must be voted upon, but finding a consensus on the bill?s language has been difficult. ?I can tell you ma?am, if this reaches a vote it will be passed,? said Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico). If, however, the ANWR provision was left in, there is bound to be a Democratic filibuster, said sponsors. ?It?s almost incredible how much we depend on natural gas. We will run out if we don?t create an alternative,? said Domenici. The alternatives in the bill are additional financial incentives to develop ?clean coal,? as well as subsidies for nuclear power. The new language is set to be posted on the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Web site over the weekend with the conference committee to work on the latest rewrite November 17. According to the bill?s sponsors, the legislation kept ?much of? building efficiency and new product efficiency language but no details were available.

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