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US Senate approves $14.5 billion energy bill

[JURIST] The US Senate passed a $14.5 billion energy bill Friday, a day after the House approved the same bill [JURIST report] praised by the Bush administration as a way to increase domestic energy supplies but criticized by environmental groups as a gift to the oil industry. The 1,725-page bill [text], finalized after weeks of compromise between the House [JURIST report] and Senate [JURIST report], will provide $14.5 billion in energy tax breaks, mostly to companies who deal in traditional sources of energy. It also provides funds for promoting renewable energy sources and creating new technologies, measures to aid the nuclear power industry and a provision effective 2007 to extend daylight savings time by one month (starting it three weeks early on the second Sunday in March, and extending it by one extra week to the first Sunday in November). The bill was approved easily 74-26, much like the House vote 275-156 [roll call]. Reuters has more.

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