Strange Bedfellows: Compromise Renewable Energy & Offshore Oil Drilling Legislation Passes in the House

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photo: dbking

You know that compromise renewable energy legislation package that was introduced into the House of Representatives yesterday? The one which rolled up offshore oil drilling and renewable energy promotion into one big ball that probably won’t please strong supporters of either drilling or renewables too much? Well, it passed by a vote of 236 to 189. As you can imagine, there were some statements against it from both sides of the political spectrum:
Too Much Fossil Fuel Support: NRDC
Reuters quoted Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council,

As it stands, the clean energy provisions in this bill are dwarfed by the push for outdated, dirty and expensive energy.

White House Opposed
The White House issued the following statement,
At a time when American families are in need of genuine relief from the effects of high fuel prices, this bill purports to open access to American energy sources while in reality taking actions to stifle development.

For some context, this graphic pretty much puts just how much oil is available in the coastal waters of the United States and how small that is in comparison to how much oil is actually consumed, check out this US oil consumption chart. Then send it around to all your friends.

Major Points of the Legislation
Just a reminder of the main parts the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act:

Oil drilling will be permitted (if state’s allow it) 50-100 miles offshore and in all areas 100 miles offshore which aren’t national marine monuments or national marine sanctuaries.

Extends renewable energy tax incentives, which would be funded by repealing some oil industry tax breaks.

Releases 70 million barrels (10%) of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to attempt to lower consumer fuel prices. The light crude currently in the reserve would be replaced by cheaper, heavier crude at a later date.

Senate Will Take Up Its Own Energy Legislation
Later this week the Senate is expected to vote on energy legislation, which if passed, will have to be reconciled with the House legislation before a final energy package is sent to the White House before being signed into law.

via :: Reuters
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Offshore Oil Drilling
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