The House passed an ambitious energy bill Thursday that revokes $21 billion in incentives for oil companies, raises vehicle fuel economy and invests in biofuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon emission reduction and so-called "green collar" job training.
It amounts to the first battle in an energy revolution that could transform the American economy. And it's too good to be true. The Senate is unlikely to pass a matching bill, and President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation.
Also noteworthy: The legislation is not as ambitious as the energy plans of most Democratic presidential candidates, though it hits the same notes. If the House energy bill is not politically palatable now, it could be under a different administration.
Here's a look at the major provisions of the bill, in the words of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
Require electric utilities to get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Increase the amount of biofuels used from 9 billion gallons next year to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Corn-based ethanol is included, but 21 billion gallons must be "advanced biofuels," such as cellulosic ethanol.
Repeal $21 billion in tax breaks for the oil and gas industry.
Provide $3 billion to states for tax credits for homeowners who make their homes more efficient, buy energy-efficient appliances or install solar panels or geothermal heat pumps.
Offer $9 billion in tax incentives for wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, small irrigation hydropower, ocean tides, landfill gas and trash combustion energy.
Provide $2.2 billion in tax incentives for technologies to capture and store carbon from coal-fired power plants.
Give plug-in electric hybrid owners a $3,000 tax credit, and let employers offer workers a $240 per-year, tax-free benefit for biking to work.
Increase efficiency lighting standards to speed the shift away from incandescent lightbulbs.
Require the Department of Energy to boost energy-efficiency standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and other appliances.
Set "green building" standards for all new federal and commercial buildings.
Create a new national training program for "green" jobs.
Increase research into marine renewable technology, hydrogen energy and advanced battery development. Source: Chronicle staff report
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