Alaska natural gas pipeline
Directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite
approval of North Slope natural gas pipeline construction
permits. Also prohibits line from running through Canada above
68 degrees North latitude, favoring the southern route through
Mandates the southern route, turning east into Canada anywhere
below 68 degrees north latitude (south of the Brooks Range,
north of Fairbanks). Expedites approval, construction and
initial operation of the pipeline, and offers an 80 percent
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling
Allows oil production but limits coastal plain surface development
footprint to 2,000 acres.
On fuel economy for cars and light trucks, the bill authorizes
an additional $5 million to help the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration implement and enforce federal fuel economy
standards for model years 2004 to 2006; directs the National
Academy of Sciences to perform another study on the feasibility
and effects of significantly improving fuel economy
by 2012; asks NAS to recommend alternatives to the current
federal fuel economy law, which requires NHTSA to set annual
CAFE standards for cars and light trucks. Also directs researchers
to aim for fuel economy targets of 80 miles per gallon for
passenger vehicles by 2010 and 60 miles per gallon for light
trucks by the same date.
Directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
to set corporate average fuel economy standards, taking 13
factors into account. Transportation Department officials
would have to weigh the "technological feasibility"
and "economic practicability" of higher gas mileage
requirements, along with potential effects on safety, air
quality and employment. Transportation Department officials
would have to promulgate regulations for passenger cars within
two-and-a-half years following the passage of the energy bill.
For non-passenger vehicles, CAFE standards would have to be
finalized within 15 months of the bill's passage.
The only hard fuel economy increase would be leveled
at the federal fleet of passenger cars and light trucks, which
would have to improve by 1 mile per gallon by the end of FY'
03 and 3 mpg by 2005. For federal fleets of vehicles not covered
under the 1992 energy bill, government officials would have
ramp up the number of light duty trucks powered by hybrid gasoline-electric
engines. After 2006, 10 percent of new trucks purchased for
federal fleets would have to be hybrids. For dual fueled vehicles
in federal fleets -- cars and trucks capable of running on gasoline
with high concentrations of ethanol -- officials must ensure
that 50 percent of the fuel used by 2009 is alternative fuel.
Many of these so-called flexible-fuel vehicles currently run
on gasoline only, even though they are capable of using fuel
containing 85 percent ethanol.
Keeps greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting voluntary for at least
five years, but adds the Environmental Protection Agency to
the agencies managing the registry and includes a trigger
making the registry mandatory if after five years it accounts
for less than 60 percent of U.S. GHG emissions. Creates a
White House Office of Climate Policy and requires it to present
to Congress within a year a strategy to stabilize U.S. GHG
Provides $2 billion for the Bush administrations Clean
Coal Power Initiative, authorizing $200 million annually for
the project through 2011, with an additional $200 million
per year through 2006 for further coal energy research and
$1.9 billion in tax breaks for "clean coal" development.
Grants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department
of Energy more authority over power line siting process on
public lands; gives FERC final backstop authority
in power line siting process when states do not act; does
not allow states to opt out of FERCs standard market
design (SMD), but includes native load protections
for utilities with fixed electricity loads; repeals the Public
Utility Holding Company Act; partially repeals the Public
Utility Regulatory Policies Act; leaves FERC merger review
authority intact; encourages voluntary participation
in regional transmission organizations (RTOs) for private
and public utilities, including the Tennessee Valley Authority
and the Bonneville Power Administration.
Amends the Federal Power Act to give the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission authority over regional transmission organizations
(RTOs) and the ability to approve reliability standards for
RTOs. Repeals the Public Utility Holding Company Act. Repeals
the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act with modifications,
eliminating the mandatory purchase requirement with exceptions
for cogeneration. Directs utilities to provide real-time pricing
and net-metering services. Establishes a task force among
FERC, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice
to assess wholesale competition.
The renewable fuels standard (RFS) title includes a large-scale
mandate for renewable fuel additives in gasoline, a mostly
pro-ethanol scenario that would require 2.7 billion gallons
to be used in the nations fuel supply by 2005, ramped
up to 5 billion gallons in 2015. Continues to allow the use
of gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in
states that have not moved to ban the suspected carcinogen
and groundwater contaminant. Contains a significant transition
package for the MTBE industry, including the authorization
of up to $250 million a year in grants from 2004 to 2006.
Also continues to provide a safe harbor exemption for MTBE
producers, helping them avoid costly defective product liability
lawsuits. That exemption would also apply to ethanol producers.
The RFS section also eliminates the Clean Air
Act 2 percent oxygenate standard, a requirement that has meant
many pollution-plagued states seeking to ban MTBE cannot do
so without either gaining a federal waiver or finding an alternative.
It includes a credit system that is aimed to ensure that areas
without a sufficient ethanol infrastructure are not obliged
to use it.
More than doubles the amount of renewable fuel additives
-- mostly ethanol -- in the nation's fuel supply, from 2.3
billion gallons in 2004 to 5 billion gallons in 2012. Refiners
would be allowed to meet the mandate through a bank-and-trade
program. The bill bans MTBE and provides $200 million in grants
to phase out the additive. It also eliminates the Clean Air
Act 2 percent oxygenate standard and provides the safe harbor
liability protection to ethanol producers. The Senate bill
would also allow states to apply for a one-year waiver from
the ethanol mandate, if they can demonstrate evidence of economic
Expedites the process by which hydroelectric projects achieve
permits to operate; calls for license applicants to have an
agency trial-type hearing of any disputed issues; authorizes
$10 million for incentives; encourages efficiency improvements;
calls for studies into increased hydroelectric generation
at federal facilities and increasing electric power production.
Creates two new procedures for hydropower relicensing. Allows
administration to review any party's suggestions for alternative
conditions dictating dam operations or construction of fishways,
but requires administration to approve conditions submitted
by licensee so long as the conditions meet mandatory environmental
protection conditions. Increases Bonneville Power Administration's
borrowing authority from the administration's FY '03 budget
request of $700 million to $1.3 billion.
Provides $1.8 billion for the Bush administrations
FreedomCar program and the related FreedomFuel initiative.
Unveiled in February 2002, FreedomCar is a public-private
research effort aimed at helping U.S. automakers overcome
barriers to development of commercially viable fuel cell-powered
passenger cars. The hydrogen fuel initiative aims to help
the energy industry meet significant challenges associated
with developing a nationwide hydrogen fueling network to support
Research and development for production, storage and fuel-cell
programs. Under the tax title, $225 million is provided for
R&D directed at hydrogen fuel cells.
Streamlines leases and right-of-way approval for siting energy
projects in Indian lands.
Gives Indian tribes power to approve contracts, leases and
rights-of-way for electricity generation and distribution
projects, without approval from the Interior secretary.
Authorizes $1.7 billion for nuclear energy research, development,
demonstration, and commercial application activities through
2007; authorizes the Nuclear Energy Plant Optimization Program,
Nuclear Power 2010 program and Advanced fuel recycling technology;
reauthorizes the Price-Anderson Act through 2017 for Nuclear
Regulatory Commission licensees, Energy Department contractors
and nonprofit educational institutions; increases maximum
assessment for nuclear reactors from $10 million to $15 million;
establishes process for secure transfer of nuclear materials;
calls for a NRC study on nuclear power plant security; authorizes
carrying of firearms by NRC employees; requires a DOE study
and a report to Congress on the feasibility of deep borehole
disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive
waste, emphasizing geological, chemical and hydrological characterization
of deep borehole environments.
Price-Anderson Act is reauthorized until 2012. Establishes
a DOE Office of Spent Nuclear Fuel Research. DOE called on
to "aggressively" pursue construction of a new nuclear
power plant by 2010. Prohibits DOE from reactivating the Hanford
Fast Flux Test Facility.
Authorizes $1.7 billion through 2007 for renewable energy
research, development, demonstration and commercial application
activities; establishes a net metering policy; authorizes
the Renewable Energy Production Incentive through 2023, in
which the Department of Energy will give 60 percent of appropriated
funds to solar, wind, geothermal, or closed-loop biomass technologies
facilities if the budget would not fully fund production from
all qualified renewable energy facilities in any given year;
calls for a two-year study by the Interior and Agriculture
departments on opportunities to develop renewable energy on
public lands. Also calls for Interior to contract a three-month
study on the potential for the development of wind, solar
and ocean energy on the outer continental shelf, assess existing
federal authorities to develop such resources, and recommend
statutory and regulatory mechanisms for such development.
Calls for an additional three-month review by DOE of the available
assessments of renewable energy resources available within
the United States, and new assessments as necessary.
Mandates electricity suppliers generate 10 percent of power
from renewable energy sources by 2020. Includes a federal
purchase requirement under which the government must buy 7.5
percent of its energy from renewables by 2010. The cost of
energy credits to help companies satisfy the renewable portfolio
standard set at 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
The $18.1 billion package includes: credits for marginal
well oil and gas production; temporary repeal of the alternative
minimum tax for intangible drilling or development
costs; incentives for nonconventional source production, including
from oil shale, tar sands, coal seams and landfills; and delays
for rental payments and exploration cost expenses. Also includes
credits, ranging from $500 to $3,000 per vehicle, for qualified
hydrogen fuel cell and new advanced lean burn technology vehicles.
Provides tax credits for purchase of solar systems, fuel cell
electricity generation, home and business energy efficiency
improvements and combined heat and power systems.
Includes a $14.5 billion tax package with no offsets, with
large credits approved for the purchase of alternative motor
vehicles and electric cars and incentives for the purchase
of energy efficient appliances. Targets energy sectors across
the board, with up to 10-year tax breaks proposed for renewable
energy, alternative vehicles, energy efficiency programs,
clean coal technology, oil and natural gas production, Indian
reservations and electricity restructuring initiatives.
Chart prepared by Emily M. Lehr, AGI Government Affairs Program