U.S. Energy Legislation Updates

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) announced that the Energy Policy Act of 2002 (S.1766) will be taken up by the Senate around February 11, 2002. He committed to a comprehensive energy plan that would place greater emphasis on energy efficiency than the House-passed bill, H.R. 4., which continues our fossil-fuel and nuclear dependency. The Senate bill contains important energy efficiency provisions, such as a legislatively mandated SEER 13 air conditioner standard. The sponsors announced their commitment to add provisions to significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency and to include tax incentives for highly efficient homes, cars and other products. Until these provisions are added, the bill is promising, but incomplete, say leading NGOs Alliance to Save Energy, ACEEE and the Sustainable Energy Coalition. Greenpeace calls it “Bush Lite.” The bill would avoid opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, but includes nuclear and coal industry subsidies. Says Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation Voters, “The debate over a national energy policy is at last moving in the right direction. “After months of negative haggling over old, tired ways to meet our energy needs, voters will finally hear a positive debate about what’s next for America’s energy […]

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