Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, September 2005

Energy Policy Act: 1 Small Step Forward and 3 Large Steps Back

     President Bush signed into law the “Energy Policy Act of 2005” (H.R. 6) on August 8.  The Act lays out an energy research and development program, including: energy efficiency; renewable energy; oil and gas; coal; Indian energy; nuclear matters and security; vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol; hydrogen; electricity; energy tax incentives; hydropower and geothermal energy; and oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in offshore areas including the New York/New Jersey Bight.

     Unfortunately, the Act promotes the use of nonrenewable energy rather than renewable.  The Act contains approximately $4 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for the oil industry and allows oil companies to pay even less in taxes and royalties for the use of publicly owned resources. The bill gives oil companies the advantage over states’ rights in siting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities and pipelines off the coast.  Even nuclear power is given a boost by stimulating the development of new reactors.

     However, the Act also contains provisions promoting renewable energy (see the “Offshore Wind” article for details).  Furthermore, funding is limited to $400 million, a measly sum compared to the $4 billion for non-renewables. 


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