- Alaska Congressman Don Young today voted to pass the Energy Policy Act of 2003, H.R.6. This bill was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 246 to 180. It will create nearly one million jobs, promote conservation and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
"This is a good bill for the American people and it has some substantial provisions for the State of Alaska in it. However, we were not able to achieve the opening of ANWR in this bill. I am optimistic that we will eventually achieve drilling in the 1002, and opening ANWR will become a reality for our great nation.
"This bill will enable us to continue to look forward to cleaner and more affordable energy, reliable electricity and reduced dependence on foreign oil for generations to come. This legislation also ensures nearly one million new jobs, and job security for those that are threatened to be lost," said Congressman Young.
The following are Alaska Provisions in the Energy Bill:
- The Denali Commission - To receive $50 million a year from NPRA or off-shore oil development for the next 20 years, including a $5 million authorization for the Power Cost Equalization Program.
- Barrow Geophysical Research Facility - To receive $61 million authorization for a joint research facility for arctic research.
- The Arctic Engineering Research Center - To receive $3 million a year grant for the next five years for a University research center in Fairbanks to develop improved methods of construction in the arctic region.
- The Healy Clean Coal Project - To receive a $125 million loan to resolve issues related to the Healy Clean Coal Project.
More Highlights of the Energy Bill include the following:
- Improves the nation's electricity transmission capacity and reliability. The bill encourages investment in the nation's electricity industry and provides for enforceable mandatory reliability standards, incentives for transmission grid improvements and reform of transmission siting rules.
- Promotes a cleaner environment by encouraging new innovations and the use of alternative power sources by launching a state-of-the-art program to enable hydrogen fuel cell cars to compete in the marketplace by 2020.
- Takes crucial steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by offering financial incentives for renewable energy companies to produce electricity from renewable and alternative fuels such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and others.
- Authorizes $200 million for the "Clean Cities" program, which will provide grants to state and local governments to acquire alternative fueled vehicles.
- Authorizes $1.8 billion for the Clean Coal Power Initiative, which will provide funding for projects that can demonstrate advanced technologies that will vastly reduce pollution emissions. These projects must meet stringent environmental performance standards.
- Provides leadership in energy conservation by establishing new mandatory efficiency requirements for federal buildings, and efficiency standards and product labeling for large household appliances and other household products.
- Allows for more oil and natural gas exploration and development by providing royalty relief for deep and ultra-deep gas wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and allowing for the construction of a natural gas pipeline from the Alaskan North Slope to U.S. markets.
- Encourages more nuclear and hydropower production by authorizing the Department of Energy to develop accelerated programs for the production and supply of electricity; setting the stage for building new nuclear reactors by reauthorizing Price-Anderson; and improving current procedures for hydroelectric project relicensing.
- Contains a renewable fuels requirement to add five billion gallons of ethanol and other renewable-based fuel to the nation's gasoline by 2012 and eliminates the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in motor fuel by 2014.
- Authorizes $3.4 billion starting in 2004 through 2006 for the Low Income Housing Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Increases funding for low-income weatherization programs, and state energy programs to improve energy efficiency.
- Increases funding to $6 million over four years (2004-2008) for the Department of Transportation to continue its work on improving Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which set fuel emission standards for cars and light trucks sold in the United States.