Issue Date: July 2, 2007
Congress continues energy debates
Last week, at least five House committees debated, rejected, and passed bills they wish to see rolled into a broad energy package on the House floor after the July 4 recess. Provisions passed by the committees would expand R&D projects for biofuels, solar energy, and CO2 capture and sequestration and would also promote energy efficiency, improve the electric grid, and encourage use of renewable energy. However, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee, which has primary energy legislation jurisdiction, continued to oppose a broad energy bill that would include provisions to raise vehicle fuel efficiency standards, trade CO2 emission credits, or increase oil and gas production. His intention is to take up these thorny issues in a climate-change bill in the fall, an approach that has drawn criticism from both ends of the political spectrum. As C&EN went to press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was expected to lay out a legislative schedule and framework for energy bill consideration on the House floor. On the Senate side, energy legislation passed late on June 21. The 65 to 27 vote was reached after a surprise agreement to increase fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks from 25 mpg to 35 mpg by 2020.
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