Jul 29 2005

SENATE PASSES ENERGY BILL CONFERENCE REPORT

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) commended Senate passage of the conference report to accompany H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005. By a vote of 74 - 26, the Senate approved the legislation which is now headed to the President’s desk for his signature. Senator Shelby made the following statement regarding passage of the bill:

“After nearly five years of debate and consideration, the United States Congress has finally passed a comprehensive energy policy. This legislation encourages increased domestic production so that our country will lessen its dependency on foreign oil. The bill also creates incentives for alternative energy production and conservation efforts, including improved fuel efficiency. I am encouraged by the bill’s strong focus on energy reliability. Without a long-term strategy to ensure steady, reliable supplies of energy, we put our economy and the way of life it supports at risk.”

“The conference report contains numerous production incentives for oil and gas exploration, and establishes programs to maintain the nation’s coal production capacity. In addition, H.R. 6 fully funds President Bush’s Clean Coal Power Initiative, which provides $200 million annually to be applied to clean coal research in coal-based gasification technologies.”

“Further, the conference report includes important language to promote investment in the electricity transmission infrastructure throughout the country as well as critical new electricity reliability standards. These are provisions that I have long supported, and I am hopeful that they will help prevent future wide-spread blackouts like those experienced in the northeast in 2003.”

“I am pleased to have worked with Chairman Domenici and the conferees to include language that further expands the Senate passed provision to ensure that States and local agencies will be able to participate and influence safety and security decisions during the application process and monitor safety at operational LNG terminals. I believe that State and local governments have a keen understanding of the needs of their communities, and this language guarantees their role in this process.”

“The conference report also maintains a Senate provision that will allow Alabama to receive a share of the royalties from oil and gas leases in federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf. This will provide over $16 million a year for conservation, master planning and infrastructure development for Alabama’s coastal areas. In addition, I am pleased the conference report requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an inventory and analysis of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas resources. This analysis will provide a better understanding of the available offshore oil and gas reserves.”

“In an effort to promote energy efficiency throughout all sectors of our environment, the conference report also includes a number of provisions that could collectively achieve a reduction in future growth of our country’s energy needs by as much as 40%. These provisions include new efficiency standards for new homes, manufactured homes, and appliances, as well as tax incentives for use of energy efficient products.”

“I am proud to have supported the first comprehensive energy policy passed by Congress in over a decade. Today’s passage reflects our nation’s commitment to increasing our energy independence through diverse measures in order to end our reliability on foreign sources of oil.”

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