Energy Bill--Getting the Kinks Worked Out

December 10, 2003 - 14:45

In an effort to help add resources
and effective alternatives to the current energy, the, Bush administration
recently announced that it was considering a number of options for ending the
current congressional dispute over a controversial gasoline fuel additive, to
try to pass a $31 billion energy bill early next year, according to Reuters.

In the final days before the winter
recess, the Senate put the bill on hold because of a provision that would
prevent oil companies that make the MTBE, an additive that contaminates underground
drinking water supplies, fuel additive from lawsuits. Members blocked the vote
because they feared the bill would unfairly protect the producers of MTBE,
according to Reuters. Currently, a number of states are working on phasing out
the additive because there have been lawsuits regarding the topic.

The administration is trying to
find ways to remedy this problem in order to get the successful passing of the
bill when Congress returns in late January. The House has already passed the
bill, so it is left on the hands of the Senate currently.

The bill was two votes shy of
passing in late November not being able to get the necessary 60 votes from the
100-member Senate to end the debate on the legislation and take a final vote.

There are still a number of
concerns regarding the bill including the high price of the energy bill that is
being asked for, which includes around $25 billion in tax breaks and incentives
for increased production of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power and renewable

However, in another recent Reuters
report, the GOP Leader is predicting that the bill will pass without a need to
strip out vital provisions like ethanol incentives and power grid reliability.
There are a number of people that are fighting to get this bill passed to not
only better government energy problems but for people and businesses all over
the country.

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