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6674Take action on Renewable energy

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  • Nan Hildreth
    Aug 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      The House in Congress plans to vote Friday on two
      energy bills. Below Environment Texas
      alert. Click here for Sierra Club alert
      http://sierra.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=27321.0&dlv_id=27461

      >From: "Luke Metzger" <luke@...>
      >To: <luke@...>
      >Subject: Houston Chronicle: House moves favor energy industry
      >Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 09:41:05 -0500
      >
      >Rep. Gene Green is quoted in today's Houston
      >Chronicle as being on the fence on the 20% by
      >2020 renewable electricity standard. Gene Green,
      >Al Green and Nick Lampson are all key swing
      >votes on both the renewable standard and on CAFE
      >fuel economy standards. Please call their
      >offices and urge support for both provisions. A
      >vote is expected on Friday. Let me know if you need talking points.
      >
      >"Green said the bill could lose his support if
      >he deems those renewable requirements too
      >aggressive. He wants to make sure, Green said,
      >that the standards "aren't going to raise rates for my constituents."
      >
      >July 30, 2007, 10:55PM
      >House moves favor energy industry
      >Democrats drop some of bill's provisions critics
      >say hamper oil, gas production
      >
      >By DAVID IVANOVICH
      >Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
      >
      >WASHINGTON ­ Bowing to pressure from
      >energy-state Democrats, House leaders have
      >yanked some of the more industry-unfriendly
      >provisions embedded in their proposed energy package.
      >
      >But Democratic leaders have yet to decide
      >whether to allow a vote to raise fuel mileage standards for cars and trucks.
      >
      >Hoping to quell a revolt among producing-state
      >Democrats and bring an energy bill to the floor
      >by week's end, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
      >D-Calif., agreed to back off some proposals
      >critics had complained could hamper domestic energy production.
      >
      >Following a meeting last Friday with Rep. Gene
      >Green, D-Houston, and more than a dozen other
      >Democrats from energy states, Pelosi and other
      >Democratic leaders promised to remove language
      >restricting how oil and natural gas producers
      >can pay their federal royalties, ratcheted back
      >deadlines to approve drilling permits, and
      >withdrew a proposal that would have given states
      >greater authority to block construction of
      >interstate electric power lines, lawmakers and leadership staffers said Monday.
      >
      >While noting "there's no unanimity among
      >Democrats on anything," Green said the agreement
      >could assuage the concerns of many "Hydrocarbon
      >Democrats" as they've been dubbed.
      >
      >"It goes a long way for us," Green said.
      >
      >Whether the deal will assure passage of the
      >bill, however, remains an open question.
      >
      >As previously envisioned, the energy bill would
      >have abolished a program that allows oil and gas
      >companies producing in the federal waters of the
      >Gulf of Mexico to pay their royalties in oil and natural gas rather than cash.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >'Royalty-in-Kind' supporters
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Critics complain the "Royalty-in-Kind" program
      >has been rife with abuse, but producers argue it
      >helps remove much of the ambiguity when calculating federal royalties.
      >
      >The previous version of the House energy bill
      >also would have extended the time regulators can
      >evaluate drilling permits for production on
      >federal lands from 30 days to 90 days. The parties have agreed on 45.
      >
      >Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, called the
      >agreement "a reasonable compromise."
      >
      >"A lot of credit has to go to the leadership for
      >their willingness to meet with us and move some," Gonzalez said.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Seeing the total package
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >But Lee Fuller, vice president of government
      >relations for the Independent Petroleum
      >Association of America, said the changes really
      >don't alter the overall tenor of the bill.
      >
      >"If you look at the total package, you're still
      >faced with a substantial set of new burdens ­ or
      >old ones revived ­ that reduce the ability to
      >produce ... oil and natural gas on federal lands," Fuller said.
      >
      >Democratic leaders also have agreed to allow
      >proponents of forcing utilities to generate a
      >greater percentage of their electricity from
      >renewable energy sources such as wind and solar
      >to try to amend the bill on the floor, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Utilities' concerns
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >But that proposal faces fierce opposition from
      >Southern utility companies in particular, which
      >fear meeting the new standards will require costly investments.
      >
      >Green said the bill could lose his support if he
      >deems those renewable requirements too
      >aggressive. He wants to make sure, Green said,
      >that the standards "aren't going to raise rates for my constituents."
      >
      >Many producing state Democrats also have raised
      >objections to a slate of tax proposals passed by
      >the House Ways and Means Committee. That plan
      >would keep oil and natural gas companies from
      >enjoying a rollback in the corporate tax rate,
      >change energy companies' tax treatment for
      >overseas operation and complicate their efforts
      >to write off exploration and production expenses.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >35 mpg threshold
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >The Democratically controlled Senate, when
      >crafting its energy legislation, voted to
      >require automakers to churn out cars, light
      >trucks, minivans and SUVs that achieve an average 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
      >
      >But House Democrats remained divided over the fuel mileage issue.
      >
      >While Democratic leaders have opted not to try
      >to include it as part of the basic bill, they
      >have yet to decide whether to allow the issue to be raised as an amendment.
      >
      >Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., has been pushing
      >for the House to adopt fuel mileage requirements
      >that are at least as aggressive as those in the Senate.
      >
      >Hoping to head off such an ambitious plan,
      >automakers ­ and their allies on Capitol Hill ­
      >are backing a more modest proposal that would
      >have separate standards for cars and trucks but
      >require they achieve between 32 and 35 miles per gallon by 2022.
      >
      ><mailto:david.ivanovich@...>david.ivanovich@...
      >
      >****Please note our new address********
      >
      >************************************************************
      >Luke Metzger
      >Director
      ><http://www.environmenttexas.org/>Environment Texas
      >Environment Texas Research and Policy Center
      >815 Brazos
      >Suite 600
      >Austin, Texas 78701
      >(512) 479-0388 office
      >(512) 743-8257 cell
      >(512) 479-0400 fax
      ><http://www.environmenttexas.org/>www.EnvironmentTexas.org
      >*************************************************************
      >

      Nan Hildreth, Houston 713-842-6643

      "On playing fields and battlegrounds, challenges
      that would be daunting and impossible if faced
      alone are suddenly possible when tackled in a
      close-knit group. The people haven't changed,
      but the way in which the task appears to them
      has." Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point