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Energy bill provides $8.5 billion in subsidies, incentives for companies

[JURIST] An energy bill likely to pass the US House and Senate this week with the support of President Bush includes over $8.5 billion in tax incentives, loan guarantees, and other subsidies for energy companies. Conservation and efficiency groups are slated to receive $1.3 billion in benefits with another $3 billion earmarked for renewable resources. The bill calls for over $14 billion in energy incentives. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) [official website], the ranking Senate Democrat for the energy negotiations, told reporters that he was disappointed in the cut from the original $3 billion the Senate approved for conservation efforts, but that he would support the bill anyway since, "this is as good a bill as I think we could hope to get." Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) criticized the bill for not doing enough to improve automobile efficiency and reduce dependence on foreign oil. A late amendment to the bill by Rep. Denny Hastert [official website] (R-IL) did provide a tax credit for installing ethanol gas pumps. AP has more.

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