Monday, June 15, 2009

U.S. House Republicans Unveil Their Own Energy Bill

Not to be outdone by U.S. House Democrats, who have -- more or less -- rallied around the Waxman-Markey energy bill, U.S. House Republicans have unveiled their own version of an energy bill, and it could not look more different from the Waxman-Markey proposal.

The American Energy Act, as proposed by Congressman Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, emphasizes the development of nuclear power. The Pence proposal envisions "a national goal of licensing 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years." The key to achieving this goal, in Mr. Pence's mind, is "by streamlining a burdensome regulatory process and ensuring the recycling and safe storage of spent nuclear fuel."

The proposal also calls for increasing domestic supply of oil and gas by "lifting restrictions on the Arctic Coastal Plain, the Outer Continental Shelf, and oil shale in the Mountain West. Revenues generated through domestic exploration will support innovation in renewable and alternative energy sources, like wind and solar technologies," he said.

While the Waxman-Markey measure calls for a national cap-and-trade system on greenhouse gas emissions the Pence proposal is silent on this idea.

To watch a video of Mr. Pence announcing the proposal, click here.

The chances of the Pence measure as proposed passing? None. But it might attract the attention of some Democratic congressman -- particularly from rust-belt and farming districts -- who are having second thoughts about Waxman-Markey.

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