By Dan Shapley
Tax incentives would go instead to renewable energy
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's energy bill seeks to resurrect policies that died when the Senate wrapped up debate about its own bill: Taking massive subsidies for oil and transferring them to renewable energy research and development. The Senate had considered a proposal similar to Pelosi's $16 billion energy transfer, but rejected it and other aggressive incentives for renewable energy. The Senate instead focused on an historic upgrade to the nation's fuel economy standards, which the public has long supported but which Senators only now found the political will to pass over lobbyist demands. Pelosi, surprisingly, chose not to quickly introduce matching fuel economy legislation that would cement the historic change. Whatever bill the House passes, it will have to be reconciled with the Senate's version. Pelosi ought to start first with fuel economy upgrades -- a battle that, seemingly, has already been won -- and then focus on the larger goal of shifting the nation's energy policy in a more sustainable direction, according to a story in the June 29 San Francisco Chronicle.