July 28, 2005

House OKs energy bill with $14.5 bln in tax breaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on
Thursday approved legislation to carry out the first major
overhaul in U.S. energy policy in more than a decade.

The 1,724-page bill, which is expected to be cleared by the
Senate on Friday and signed into law by President Bush next
week, seeks to boost U.S. oil, natural gas and electricity
supplies as well as promote alternative energy sources.

Many environmental groups oppose the bill, arguing its
$14.5 billion in tax breaks and incentives is corporate welfare
for energy companies and does nothing to help reduce U.S. oil
demand by boosting vehicle fuel standards or cut foreign oil

Supporters of the legislation say it provides a framework
for companies to invest in both traditional and alternative
energy sources, and gives consumers tax credits to purchase
hybrid vehicles and energy-saving appliances and products.