Senate Passes Cleaner Energy Bill

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The Senate passed an energy bill by large numbers yesterday to provide tax incentives to domestic energy companies in the hopes of encouraging oil and natural gas production. The bill also offers billions of dollars worth of incentive to expand renewable energy sources, nuclear power, and conservation.

Senate Passes Cleaner Energy Bill

This is a landmark agreement, a bill of bipartisan efforts benefiting the oil industry as well as pushing toward a new world of conservation and cleaner energy alternatives such as nuclear fusion, hybrid cars, and hydrogen power. The final vote was 85-12.

After continuous rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, leaving the US as the lone superpower holdout, the Senate is now on record producing a bill that places limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

These gases are the principal cause of the world-recognized problem of global warming. The Bush administration has remained opposed to greenhouse gas controls.

Probably this will leave the House and the Senate at odds as this new bill is starkly different from an energy bill passed in the House in April.

The House of Representatives bill called for more traditional energy production, putting little emphasis on the future of energy sources.

The hottest point of contention, however, was regarding protection from lawsuits over a gasoline additive. The House bill offers this protection to manufacturers of the additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether, or MTBE.

Hundreds of communities have complained of drinking water contamination due to MTBE. Two years ago, the Senate blocked a similar house bill that included this protection.

President Bush has asked for the final version to be on his desk by August, but it remains to be seen if the both sides can agree.

While an energy bill is expected to aid in the production of cleaner energy, if passed it is not expected to bring down gas prices any time soon.

Senate Passes Cleaner Energy Bill
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