Jun 17, 2009

U.S. Senate panel approves comprehensive energy bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday approved a comprehensive energy package that would require utilities to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

Utilities could meet about a quarter of their renewable requirements through energy efficiency gains.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 15 to 8 in favor of the wide-ranging legislation that would also require the Energy Department to create an emergency reserve of 30 million barrels of petroleum product supplies, including gasoline and diesel fuel.

In addition to the reserve, the Senate's energy package also addresses domestic oil and gas production. The bill would call for an inventory of Outer Continental Shelf energy resources and would allow drilling within 45 miles of Florida's Gulf coast.

The bill would also provide the federal government with the authority to override state objections to expanding electricity transmission lines and establish an independent agency to spearhead government clean energy investments.

By Ayesha Rascoe

6-17-09

thanks to reuters.com for this information

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