Bush Signs Energy Bill
President Bush has signed into law the energy bill passed by Congress a few weeks ago. Bush “called it essential to U.S. national and economic security, on a day when the price of oil reached another record high, above $63 a barrel,” stated an article on the International Information Programs of the United States Department of State Web site.
At the signing ceremony on August 8, 2005 in New Mexico, “Bush said the legislation he had sought for more than four years represents a critical first step toward making U.S. energy more affordable and reliable,” the article said.
“This bill is not going to solve our energy challenges overnight,” Bush said in the article. “Most of the serious problems, such as high gasoline costs, or the rising dependence on foreign oil, have developed over decades. It’s going to take years of focused effort to alleviate those problems.”
Within the last several weeks, The Senate passed the bill 74-26, one day after the House of Representatives passed it 275-156.
According to the article, “the new law provides $14.5 billion tax cuts over the next 10 years, as well as other incentives not only to domestic oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy suppliers, but also to alternative energy sources and conservation.”
“We need to conserve more energy; we need to produce more energy,” Bush said in the article. “We need to diversify our energy supply, and we need to modernize our energy delivery.” According to the article, the tax cuts and incentives aim to boost U.S. production of energy and research into cleaner energy technology, especially clean coal.
In the alternative and renewable energy sources department, the law will extend tax credits for wind, biomass and landfill gas sources. As a bonus for Midwest farmers, the bill also promotes the use of ethanol and biodiesel (even hydrogen fuel cell research) as sources for auto fuel.
As far as energy conservation goes, “the law sets higher energy efficiency standards for federal U.S. government buildings and for household appliances, including heaters and refrigerators. It does not increase existing automobile fuel-efficiency standards but requires a study of how such an increase would affect the auto industry, gasoline supply and air quality,” stated the article.
Infrastructure gets a nod in the law. “It aims to eliminate obstacles to investment in the energy transmission grid. It relaxes federal government rules governing mergers between utility companies. It gives the federal government power to override states’ objections to the selection of sites for liquefied natural gas terminals,” said the article.
For more information, the transcript of the president’s remarks can be accessed at the White House Web site.