December 13, 2007

CRAPO VOTES FOR COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY BILL

Washington, DC - Late Thursday, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted in favor of H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, commonly referred to as the Energy Bill. The bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 86-8. The Senate amended the House version of the bill, which was passed on December 6.

The Senate amendment strikes a tax package that would have increased taxes on domestic oil and gas producers to pay for incentives for renewable power, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and other technologies. Senator Crapo strongly supported the incentives for alternative energy resources, many of which he championed through he Finance Committee, but opposed paying for those incentives by increasing taxes on domestic oil and gas producers.

"This is not an "either-or" proposition," Crapo said. "We must address the growing energy demand of our country with both a firm and long-term commitment to promoting investment in alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and nuclear power with increased incentives, research and development. However, we must do this while maintaining strong domestic production of more traditional energy resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal-based electricity. I remain hopeful that we can work to achieve this with an energy tax bill in the current Congress. As we all see daily when filling up our cars and paying our electric bills, we are facing real and increasing constraints on our energy supply and it is resulting in higher energy costs by the day. We simply cannot meet those needs by decreasing conventional energy production in the US, which would further our dependency on foreign energy supplies and dramatically increase costs for the gasoline and electricity we use every day."

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 would:

• Increase corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ, or automobile mileage standards) standards for cars and light trucks by about 40 percent to reach 35 miles per gallon by 2020-the first increase of fuel efficiency standards in 32 years.
• Expand the national biofuels mandate to up to 36 billion gallons annually by 2022.
• Increase building and appliance energy efficiency standards.

Senate leadership also removed a provision from the bill that would have forced all states to generate 15 percent of their power from renewable energy sources.

The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives. If it passes the House, without amendment, it will go the President for signature.