Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Energy bill comes together, rankles Californians

It looks like the conference committee has finally come together to approve a federal Energy Bill.

Congressional negotiators clinched an agreement Tuesday on a national energy bill to boost oil and gas production, triggering a debate over whether the massive bill would steer the nation toward energy independence or just pour money into the pockets of producers.

For California, the compromise bill clears the way for the waters off the coast to be mapped for their oil and gas potential. The state also would see its authority over the location of liquefied natural gas facilities weakened and, for the first time in six decades, electric utilities could be sold to corporations with no experience in the business or connection to regional markets.

Although the changes to LNG siting rules would only affect one California project--in Long Beach--opponents of LNG in other parts of the State are nonetheless upset.