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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Nov 21, 2007 2:15 PM Flag

    Democrats Pare Down Energy Legislation ~ stronger fuel economy & renewable fuel mandates

    Democrats Pare Down Energy Legislation ~ stronger fuel economy & renewable fuel mandates

    House Democrats plan to propose a pared-down energy bill when they return from Thanksgiving recess that would include stronger fuel economy and renewable fuel mandates, but would sideline a controversial tax package and renewable portfolio standard.

    The tentative package was forged late last week after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., held separate meetings with Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. John D. Dingell , D-Michigan, and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Sen. Daniel K. Inouye , D-Hawaii, aides confirmed.

    The changes would help reconcile competing House and Senate energy bills that have been blocked from moving to conference and drawn a veto threat from the White House. With oil prices pushing toward $100 a gallon as the winter heating season approaches and Americans take to the highways for their holidays, Congress is under growing pressure to enact energy legislation.

    The Senate�s bill, passed in June, would require 36 billion gallons of biofuels to be in use by 2022, and require the nation�s vehicle fleet � including light trucks � to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

    The House bill was silent on those issues, but called for utilities to produce 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020 and for increased taxes and regulation on the oil and gas industry.

    Removing the mandate on utilities, known as a renewable portfolio standard, minimizes resistance from Southern lawmakers who said their states couldn�t meet such a mandate. And breaking off the tax package could redirect opposition from Texas Republican senators who have blocked a conference on the energy bills over increased oil and gas taxes.

    PROJECTED Biomass Ethanol Production 2000 - 2020

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