The House of Representatives adopted a bill to introduce tax breaks to encourage the production of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power, but also to double the use of ethanol made from corn.
The Bush administration's energy policy reform project was approved last Thursday by 249 votes to 183 by the US House of Representatives. Blocked several times in the Senate by the Democrats, it will again be sent to the Senate.
This bill provides, among other things, tax breaks to encourage the production of oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy, and to double the use of corn-based ethanol as an additive to gasoline. The United States is the world's largest producer of corn. It also provides for the exploit
tation of hydrocarbon deposits in an Alaskan nature reserve, which the Senate approved in principle last month during a budget debate. The bill grants a nine-year period to end the use of tert-butyl methyl ether (MTBE), which is believed to be carcinogenic in water, and grants two billion dollars to allow producers to face possible lawsuits.
US President George W. Bush welcomed this vote and said in a statement "I hope the Senate will act quickly so that I can sign the law before August". "For more than a decade, our country has not had a clear, balanced and comprehensive energy strategy," he stressed.
Democratic opposition leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the reform was "anti-consumer, anti-tax and anti-environment", deeming it in particular too costly and too favorable to industrialists.