The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved a $10.7 billion package of energy tax breaks and financial incentives over five years that will be tacked on to pending energy legislation.It's certainly nice to see them stick it to the White House on this -- can it survive a veto threat, though? Other good news:
The tax package came in under the $11 billion cap imposed by the Senate budget writers, but it is more than double the $6.7 billion limit the White House had sought over 10 years. The Senate energy tax package's total cost over 10 years would be much higher at $14.1 billion.
Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who heads the Finance Committee, said the tax package "supports the development of energy production from renewable and environmentally beneficial sources."
The financial incentives will help promote alternative energy sources, which he said should ease US energy shortages and reduce America's reliance on crude oil imports from the volatile Middle East.
The US Senate narrowly approved a Democratic plan on Thursday to require utilities to generate 10 percent of their electricity from windmills and other renewable energy sources by 2020, despite objections from the Bush administration.Again, a nice move, but as the next paragraph notes, the overal energy bill "...aims to increase domestic supplies of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and other energy sources." Color me ambivalent...
Senators voted 52-48 to add to the energy bill a federal mandate requiring electric utilities to offer more "green" power produced from wind, solar, and biomass sources.
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