The controversial energy bill, which we wrote about on Friday, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday. The bill says that most utilities could be required to generate 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources. The bill also would repeal almost $16 billion in tax breaks to oil companies, and would redirect a portion of that to clean energy programs.
The bill still has to be reconciled with the one developed in the Senate, and the White House has already said it will veto the measure.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who sponsored the bill, told the New York Times that the bill passing the House was “a momentous decision on energy and global warming.”
Here are some highlights of the energy bill that we thought you guys would be interested in:
H.R.3221: New Direction for Energy Independence , National Security, and Consumer Protection Act
- VC Aid: The “Renewable Fuel Capital Investment Pilot Program,” which will encourage venture capital investments in smaller enterprises that are working on renewable energy solutions. Check out the selection criteria and see if you are eligible.
- Energy Research: Establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, for energy research. The fund will receive $300 million for fiscal year 2008, $1 billion for fiscal year 2009, $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2010, $1.2 billion for fiscal year 2011, and $1.3 billion for fiscal year 2012.”
- Carbon Neutral Government: The United States Government is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., and this section says create milestones to reduce carbon footprint.
- Corporate Energy Efficiency: Increase loan limits to help businesses develop energy efficiency programs, including $4 million for each project that reduces the borrower’s energy consumption by at least 10% or for projects that generate renewable energy or fuels.
- Carbon Offsets: By Sept. 2008, the government shall issue guidelines that establish criteria for “qualified greenhouse gas offsets and qualified renewable energy certificates.”
H.R.2776: Renewable and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007
- Oil Industry Tax: “Repeal the section 199 manufacturing tax credit for oil and gas producers upon the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretaries of Energy, Labor, and Commerce, finding that no jobs would be lost in the energy sector as a result of such a repeal.” Read MarketWatch’s take on the $16 billion oil industry tax credit cut here.
Opponents (see here, here, and here) have written that the bill is unreasonable, since it does not provide necessary measures to reach its goal of energy independence. As we wrote about in our earlier post on the bill, it is not certain that advancements in cellulosic ethanol, solar, wind, and other renewable will produce the amount of energy required to replace 15% of all domestic-generated power by 2020.