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Comprehensive Energy Package Approved by Senate

June 17, 2009

On Wednesday, a U.S. Senate committee approved a comprehensive energy package that would require utilities to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind power.

Utilities would be able to meet about a quarter of their renewable requirements through energy efficiency gains.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 15 to 8 in favor of the legislation that would require the Energy Department to create an emergency reserve of 30 million barrels of petroleum product supplies, including gasoline and diesel fuel.

The Senate’s energy package, in addition to the reserve, also addresses domestic oil and gas production.  The bill would create inventories of Outer Continental Shelf energy resources, allowing drilling within 45 miles of Florida’s Gulf coast.

The bill would also give the Federal government the power to override state objections to expanding electricity transmission lines and establish an independent agency to spearhead government clean energy investments.

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