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Senate Agriculture Panel Boosts Renewable Energy Investments

The Senate agriculture committee has approved legislation that offers financial incentives to farmers to develop renewable energy sources and implement efficiency measures as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the federal farm subsidies program. The energy title of the bill, offered by committee chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), has drawn broad support from environmentalists and energy efficiency advocates.

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Administration Negotiates Overhaul Of Auto Fuel-Efficiency Research Program


The Bush administration is in discussions with the automobile industry on overhauling a public-private research program originally intended to promote the development of an ultra fuel-efficient passenger vehicle. Negotiators are drafting an agreement that would dramatically shift the use of federal dollars to develop specific car components that promote energy efficiency that could be quickly brought to market by automobile makers.

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House Energy Chairman Pushes Quick Passage Of Nuclear Liability Insurance


In an effort to speed passage of nuclear insurance legislation, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) says he will recommend that Republican leaders bring a recently approved committee bill to the House floor under suspension of the usual rules.

But a congressional staffer for the House leadership says no decision has been made on how the measure may be brought to the floor, and points out that a suspension may not be the best course because the overall measure is still fairly controversial "and may not pass on a two-thirds vote."

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Proponents Of ANWR Drilling Concede They Lack Votes To Overcome Filibuster Threat


A broad coalition of business and labor groups who support the president's energy strategy have acknowledged that they do not have the votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster to energy legislation that includes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The assessment is part of a high-stakes standoff between Senate Democratic leaders and Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK), who is pushing for a Senate vote this year on energy legislation that includes ANWR drilling.

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Lieberman Queries Norton On 'Misstatements' Regarding Impact Of ANWR Drilling


The chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee has asked Interior Secretary Gale Norton to explain why she submitted written testimony to Congress that left out some conclusions by scientists within her department and apparently downplayed some of the potential environmental impacts of drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

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House Panel Approves Scaled-Back Effort To Encourage Loans For Clean Energy


The House Financial Services Committee has approved legislation that would encourage federal funding for international renewable energy and efficiency projects, though the mandate is far less stringent than an earlier proposal backed by environmentalists. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), who spearheaded the original proposal, was forced to scale back his effort in order to win approval for the measure at an Oct. 31 committee markup.

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Key Democrats Renew Pledge To Block Any Legislation That Includes ANWR Drilling


Leading Democratic senators have reaffirmed their commitment to block any legislation that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), in an apparent response to anticipated Republican efforts to try and attach energy legislation that includes Arctic drilling to "must pass" bills such as economic stimulus or appropriations legislation.

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Impasse On Renewable Fuels Seen As Stalling GOP Push For Energy Legislation


Efforts in the Senate to forge a consensus on a renewable fuels standard appears to have stalled Republican plans to speed passage of energy legislation this year, with GOP senators now likely to resort to an uphill battle to try and attach a controversial House bill to must-pass legislation. GOP negotiations on a renewable fuels standard are being led by Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) in an attempt to broaden support for a stripped down energy bill that would include controversial provisions to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas drilling.

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