Iowa Public Television


House Passes Energy Bill

posted on August 10, 2007

Hello, I'm Mark Pearson. The meltdown in the mortgage market that has put some lenders out of business, rippled into the equities sector this week, as credit problems on Main Street made their way to Wall Street.

After surpassing the 14,000 mark in July, **the Dow suffered its second worst day of the year Thursday, largely on concerns that consumers are finding it difficult to borrow money.

**Hoping to calm jittery investors, Federal Reserve policy makers intervened late this week, by injecting nearly 60 billion worth of cash into the nation's banking system.

**But, the move to bolster liquidity may be too little, too late. And many analysts believe the Fed will be forced to cut interest rates, perhaps before its next meeting in September.

One commodity consumers are buying on credit more frequently these days is fuel, and many believe America's dependence on foreign oil is to blame for higher prices.

Hoping to ease the pain at the pump, House lawmakers passed their version of a comprehensive Energy Bill.

House Passes Energy Bill

Provisions of the House Energy Bill include

-funding for cellulosic fuels research

-Tax credits for purchasing plug-in hybrid cars

- Mandates for electric utilities to produce 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources

-And a reduction of CO2 emissions by 10 billion tons annually through various methods including underground storage.

After receiving pressure from auto-state democrats, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pulled a provision that increased car and truck fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon. Though the California Democrat was willing to bend on this issue, Pelosi favors the higher mileage standard.

Objections to the bill transcended party lines. For example, both Democrats and Republicans from oil- producing states objected to the removal of $16 billion in oil industry tax breaks.

While the Senate version of the Energy Bill includes a 36 billion gallon renewable fuels mandate, this requirement is missing from the bill passed by the House. This renewable fuels rider relied heavily on ethanol production.

The measure now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee where legislators will hammer out the details before sending the bill to the White House.


Tags: Congress energy policy government news