Friday, July 29, 2005

Details from the energy bill (hr 6)...

Yep, it passed as well. Here's the text.

Approved by a margin of 249-183, here's what's in the fine, and maybe not-so-fine print:

  • The bill includes $12 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

  • $8.1 billion are tax breaks over 10 years, headed mostly toward coal, nuclear, oil and natural gas industries. In addition it calls for $2 billion over 10 years to fund research into oil and gas recovery in extremely deep areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Shields MTBE makers from product liability lawsuits stemming from groundwater contamination from the gasoline additive. MTBE contamination has affected more than 1,800 community water systems in 29 states with a potential cleanup cost of $29 billion. MTBE makers, including large oil companies and refiners, argued they need liability protection because of an expected surge in lawsuits.
This got in thanks to an amendment sponsored by Tom DeLay. According to the EWG Action Fund, there are at least 208 members of Congress who represent people or companies with the gasoline additive MTBE in their drinking water. DeLay's amendment makes taxpayers, and not the companies who caused the leaks or spills, responsible to pay for cleanup.

  • Opens Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling.

Here's the text of the "Alaska pipeline" provision

  • Eases environmental restrictions on building or expanding oil refineries in economically depressed areas.
  • Expands the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 300 million barrels to 1 billion barrels, and halts new shipments if U.S. oil futures prices rise above $40 per barrel.
  • Sends more than $3 billion for more research for oil, gas and coal industries.
  • It removes local control in new energy project development. For ex, it gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission final say if communities object to new liquefied natural gas projects.
  • Cuts the number of special gasoline blends now required to ease air pollution in cities and regions.
  • Doubles funding to develop coal plants to $2.5 billion.
  • Extends annual U.S. daylight-saving time by two months to cut energy use.
  • Extends the deadline for cities downwind of polluting factories to comply with smog standards if the state can prove that most pollution comes from outside their borders.
  • Authorizes more than $3 billion annually to help poor families pay winter heating bills.
  • Provides a 20 percent tax credit up to $2,000 for homeowners who put in more energy efficient windows, doors and insulation.
What's missing:

fuel efficiency standards... energy efficiency assistance... support for alternative energy production & development... incentives to cut greenhouse gas emissions

from a post at
Read more here

    Find out where your rep stands... Here's the entire vote tally .


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