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House-Senate Tax Committee To Review Murkowski Energy Bill

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) will delay for two weeks the introduction of his comprehensive energy bill to allow the Joint Committee on Taxation to examine the cost of the measure to the federal government. The committee will assess government expenditures under the bill through tax incentives and the creation of new federal programs, as well as revenue the government would receive through royalties from drilling on federal lands.

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Sen. Boxer Proposes Billions In Emergency Power Generation Loans

In an apparent attempt to eases California's power crisis, the state's senior senator, Barbara Boxer (D), has introduced a bill that would require the Department of Energy to make loans to states to construct electricity generation facilities for use in emergencies. The measure, S. 221, would make $15 billion available between 2002 and 2006, with $5 billion available the first year.

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Energy Debate Supplants Environmental Initiatives In Congress

Congressional efforts to craft a national energy strategy may upstage earlier plans by lawmakers to address environmental legislation, congressional sources say. These sources note that spreading concerns about the nation's power crisis have pushed a number of issues to the wayside. Most sources agree that with the exception of a water infrastructure funding bill, the House and Senate will likely forgo serious consideration of environmental issues, such as nonpoint water pollution and hazardous waste and brownfields cleanups, until after an energy strategy has been passed.

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Key House Energy Chairman Signals Move Away From Reliance On Gas-Fired Generation


House energy and air quality subcommittee chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) this week signaled to public power officials his interest in measures moving the nation away from an over-reliance on natural-gas fired generation in favor of new clean-coal and nuclear base load generation. Barton, whose House Energy & Commerce subcommittee will likely be at the center of a comprehensive review of U.S. energy policy, told the group that there is "absolutely no reason" why nuclear can't continue to be an option for utilities.

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Murkowski Meets With Cheney On Unveiling GOP Energy Strategy

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) is meeting today with Vice President Cheney to discuss the timing for introducing the senator's comprehensive energy security legislation, which includes renewing consideration for the construction of nuclear power plants and developing clean-coal technologies. The White House is arguing for introduction sometime in the near future to avoid deflecting attention from the president's tax-cut proposals. Murkowski last month said he planned to offer the bill this week following a Republican legislative retreat.

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Public Utilities Promote Energy Conservation Measures

The nation's publicly-owned utilities are calling for increased conservation measures and the use of renewable energy sources to boost power supplies in an effort to address the nation's energy crisis. The American Public Power Association yesterday at its annual legislative meeting in Washington, DC, approved a series of resolutions that emphasize preserving air quality controls while encouraging the use of all types of power generation.

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Environmentalists Offer Alternative Energy Security Measures

Charging that President Bush has proposed no viable solution to the national energy shortage, environmentalists have drafted an alternative energy policy that calls for tax credits to encourage energy efficiency. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sent a report to Congress in the hope that it will influence legislators who are drafting comprehensive energy bills.

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Key California Democrats Unveil Bills To Speed, Increase Power Generation

Two key Democrats in the California legislature have unveiled the first of their party's legislative proposals for easing air quality requirements on power plants and speeding up the approval of permits for electricity generation projects, including the "repowering" of thermal plants. More substantive bills are expected to be introduced later this week; Gov. Gray Davis (D) said he will announce later this week his own plan to provide environmental regulatory relief to increase electricity generation.

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Top Democrat On Senate Environment Panel Offers Energy Bill

The leading Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), has drafted legislation to establish tax incentives encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower. The bill was drafted in order to help address the nation's energy crisis, and the senator hopes the bill will become part of a larger legislative package that other lawmakers are working on.

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