Energy Policy: Setting the Stage for the Current Debate [Updated March 15, 2002]   [open pdf - 155KB]

"The Bush Administration issued its plan for a national energy policy on May 16, 2001. The plan was controversial, characterized by some as leaner on conservation and renewables than Democratic proposals, and predisposed to trade off environmental considerations to increase supply. Comprehensive energy legislation was introduced in the Senate by both parties by late March (S. 388, S. 389, S. 596, S. 597). Bills reported by several House committees (H.R. 2436, H.R. 2460, H.R. 2511, and H.R. 2587) were combined in a single bill, H.R. 4, passed by the House, August 1, 2001. The bill would require a 5 billion gallon reduction in light-duty truck and SUV fuel consumption and would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to leasing. Debate on comprehensive energy legislation, Amendment No. 2917 to S. 517, began in the Senate in late February. Amendments approved during the first days of the debate included language: [1] designating a southern route for the proposed Alaskan natural gas pipeline; [2] reauthorization of the nuclear liability insurance provisions known as the Price-Anderson Act; [3] authorization of a study of the effect on drinking water of a hydraulic fracturing process used in both natural gas and coal methane production; and [4] adding the text of S. 235, pipeline safety reform legislation, previously approved by the Senate last year. A vote is pending on an amendment to give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to regulate energy derivatives trading."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10080
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