Friday, May 27, 2005

Energy Package Clears Senate Committee

A Senate panel reached bipartisan agreement on energy legislation yesterday, after years of failing to craft a measure that had broad support. Supporters said the legislation would help ease high prices by encouraging the development of more energy. The bill provides incentives for construction of nuclear plants, renewable energy facilities, and plants that burn coal using technology that spews fewer pollutants than traditional plants. It also seeks more oil and natural gas development on federal land. The Senate bill lacks a number of controversial provisions included in energy legislation approved by the House last month -- setting the stage for difficult negotiations when the two bills go to a House-Senate conference committee. The House legislation calls for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the Senate version does not. Both chambers have approved budget resolutions that anticipate revenue from drilling in the refuge, and lawmakers must approve additional legislation before drilling can occur. The Senate bill contains some measures that opponents said would be likely to face debate when the full Senate considers it -- including a provision to give federal regulators authority over states on locating liquefied natural gas terminals....


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