SENATE OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVES COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY LEGISLATION

U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today voted to approve the Senateís version of a comprehensive energy plan for the nation. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6) passed the Senate this morning by an 85-12 vote. ìThis package puts us one step closer to the implementation of a comprehensive national energy plan that will boost energy reliability and improve the nationís energy security,î Senate Inhofe said. ìWeíve been trying to get an energy bill since the Reagan administration. This is a small beginning, but one we can build on. The ultimate goal of energy self-sufficiency will not be achieved with this bill, but it is a start.î Highlights of H.R. 6, The Energy Policy Act of 2005: Expensing for New Refinery Construction ? The provision included by the Senate Finance Committee at Senator Inhofeís request permits a refinery to expense the costs of the infrastructure if it expands by five percent capacity or to expense 100 percent if a new refinery is built. Construction must occur by January 2008 and the facilities must be placed into service before January 2012. Economy-friendly Approach to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions ? An amendment offered by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) approved by two-thirds of the Senate, coupled with the rejection of an amendment offered by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) by 60 Senators, affirms the Senateís position against imposing mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions. Senator Hagelís approach, which embraces the Bush Administrationís policy toward climate change, would not result in the adverse economic impacts that have been associated with the McCain-Lieberman legislation.