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Murkowski Fires Opening Shot In Debate Over National Energy Legislation

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) has introduced comprehensive legislation intended to resolve the nation's energy crisis. The chairman offered the bill as a starting point for debate in Congress, while the White House is drafting its own plan that is expected to be folded into the Senate bill, according to Murkowski.

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California Lawmaker To Tackle Air Quality Impact Of Bill To Boost Use Of Backup Generators


A key California assemblyman said this week he intends to amend a bill that relaxes air pollution permit limits for backup generators to address concerns raised by members of a special energy committee that approved the bill earlier this week. The bill proposes to allow companies participating in utility "interruptible service" programs to avoid emission limits for backup generators that are used during shutdowns and start-ups and other circumstances deemed as "emergencies" by the bill.

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Senate Energy Chairman To Unveil Comprehensive Legislation

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) will introduce comprehensive energy legislation on Feb. 26. The bill is expected to pull together a wide range of proposals to address the nation's energy crisis, including subsides for fossil fuel industries and tax credits to encourage energy efficiency.

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Davis Order To Fast-Track Power Plants Attracts Legal Challenge

A California city has issued what could turn out to be the first legal challenge to Gov. Gray Davis's (D) efforts to fast-track electricity generation in response to the state's power crisis. Huntington Beach has filed a formal complaint with the energy commission and has threatened to sue the state over a proposed 60-day approval process for a 450-megawatt expansion of a power plant.

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Nevada Eyes Novel Plan To Restrict Regulatory Impact Of New Power Plant

Air regulators in Nevada are expected to unveil next month an unusual plan to allow construction of a power plant without subjecting surrounding businesses to tougher air quality standards. The plan would create a new local air quality planning district specifically around the proposed power plant to avoid extending federal emissions reporting requirements to other businesses in the area.

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Natural Gas Advocates Intensify Efforts For Drilling, New Pipelines

As the debate heats up over boosting the nation's energy supplies, the natural gas industry is stepping up its pressure for more drilling and pipeline construction, arguing that only quick action will ensure that supply meets demand.

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Senate Eyes Tax Credits To Boost Biomass Electricity Generation

The Senate is considering legislation that may pave the way for an expanded look at electricity generation fueled by wood and agricultural scraps, known as "biomass." The measures would extend an incentive tax credit to include so-called 'open-loop' biomass -- potential fuel not necessarily intended solely to be used for power generation.

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'Clean Coal' Promises To Be Major Clean Air Policy Battleground

A major energy policy battle has begun over whether or not the federal government should promote the development of "clean coal" as a solution to increasingly urgent electric power generation needs over the next decade. A recent Senate bill and a new initiative from the Department of Energy indicate a renewed interest in developing cleaner coal technology. But environmentalists are warning that even discussing clean coal is a threat to the Clean Air Act.

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Bush Energy Policy Seen As Driven By Political Donors

Consumer activists argue that President Bush's response to California's energy crisis has been influenced by major energy companies that have contributed to his campaign. The activists claim that Bush received large contributions from power companies that have a vested interest in opposing price controls on electricity and advocating eased environmental requirements for power plants. In a Feb.

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