The U.S. House of Representatives has approved two energy bills: H.R. 3221: New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act - passed by a vote of 241-172 - and H.R. 2776: Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 - passed by a vote of 221-189.
The Udall-Platts amendment to H.R. 3221, adopted by a vote of 220-190, would require utilities to produce 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind by 2020. Utilities will be permitted to meet the requirement through the purchase and borrowing of renewable energy credits. Federally owned and municipally owned utilities, as well as rural electric cooperatives, would be exempt from the standard.
H.R. 2776, meanwhile, repeals approximately $16 billion in 2005 tax credits issued to the oil industry and redirects some of the funds toward renewable energy projects.
"I commend the House for passing legislation that will help our nation better secure its energy future," says Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "The members who supported those bills were reflecting the consensus of the American public - that we can, and should, do more to help our country become more energy self-reliant."