approved incentives April 11 for oil and gas production, including a go-ahead
for drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge, despite complaints the bill
gives too much to energy companies and does little to promote conservation, The
Associated Press reported.
approved 247-175, now awaits action by the Senate, which is expected to
consider a less industry-friendly energy bill next month.
leaders called the legislation a fair balance. The measure would spur development
of traditional fossil fuels and renewable energy through a mix of tax breaks,
federal royalty relief and opening new areas of production such as the
Alaska refuge, they said.
Young, R-Alaska, says those who argued against developing the refuge's
oil don't have the facts and have not visited the area on Alaska's North
Slope, just east of the oil-rich Prudhoe Bay fields.
also includes provisions that benefit everyone from corn farmers who want
to produce more ethanol to automakers seeking to develop hydrogen fuel
cells and utilities that want to reduce their cost of building power lines.
provisions: A requirement to double the use of corn-based ethanol to 5
billion gallons a year by 2015; a $1.8 billion program to promote development
of hydrogen as a fuel for cars and electricity production; a measure that
lets companies avoid federal royalty payments on natural gas taken from
very deep wells in the Gulf of Mexico; authority for federal energy regulators
to direct the siting of electric power lines if states fail to do so; and
a licensing streamlining process for hydroelectric dams.