House Passes Energy Bill: Alt Propulsion Tax Credits and Subsidies Aplenty, CAFE Left Blank

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
house passes energy bill alt propulsion tax credits and subsidies aplenty cafe left

House politicians burning the midnight oil have passed a $16b bill designed to reduce our dependence on imported energy. While the bill must be reconciled with the Senate version and the President is already threatening a veto (as expected), its provisions clearly indicate which way the wind [farm] is blowing. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the bill repeals tax breaks to the oil and gas industry, to the tune of $16b. On the automotive front, it provides $4k tax breaks for hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, hands out loan guarantees and "other assistance" for advanced diesel and hybrid battery technology, and mandates $3.5b in tax credits for E-85 pump installation. The hotly-debated proposal to raise the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards didn't get a look in. The champion of the hike, Massachusetts Democrat Representative Edward Markey, put his hands in the air like he just didn't care. "This is the historic break with the fossil-fuel past and the beginning of the solar-wind renewable era in the United States," the chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming told The Boston Globe. "People will look back at this as the turning point where Congress began to embrace renewable energy."

Join the conversation
  • Luther Luther on Aug 05, 2007

    It's just sooo easy to rob the Thermodynamic-challenged ain't it Markey?

  • Dean Dean on Aug 05, 2007

    The cut in tax breaks to the oil industry guarantees a veto. Who do you think Dubya wants to work for come late January, 2009?

  • Designdingo Designdingo on Aug 05, 2007

    I'm a Porsche-driving, long lone commuting, gas-guzzling driver who wonders why there are any Federal tax breaks for the oil industry at all. Considering their record profits, can't they compete in a free market economy like the rest of us? If gas prices go high enough, people like me will eventually change our behaviour and seek out alternatives. All these tax breaks and government handouts distort the free market, and actually hinder the broader market from moving to correct itself.