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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is applauding the House for passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which passed with a vote of 238 to 181 and will now head to debate in the Senate.

"Wind power is now a mainstream option for new power generation," says Randall Swisher, executive director of AWEA. "Other renewable energy technologies are also growing fast. Climate change legislation should therefore promote accelerated transition to these readily available technologies, which will not only help lower emissions but also generate mega-savings for the economy by reducing spending on fuel for electricity generation over the coming decades."

The bill would increase efficiency of vehicles to 35 miles per gallon by 2020, require a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 15% that includes a broad range of energy sources, including wind power, and invest in renewable and alternative energy tax incentives.

Several news reports indicate that President Bush will veto the legislation if it passes in the Senate.

"Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in the House today pushed a partisan bill that members had very little opportunity to study before the vote, which they knew was unacceptable to the president and had no chance being signed into law," says Dana Perino, White House press secretary.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, also expressed disappointment in the passage of the bill, saying it will raise taxes, increase energy prices and do little to meet long-term energy needs.

Hutchison criticized the proposed RPS in particular.

"Many states simply don't have the wind to meet these requirements," says Hutchison. "I've long advocated a practical and fair approach, which should be expanded to include other alternatives like nuclear, hydro and geothermal. It is regrettable that the House-passed bill does not look to other sources of clean energy as viable options."


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