Thursday, July 28, 2005

Federal Energy Bill Criticized

If the goal of a Federal Energy Bill was reducing dependence on foreign oil, critics say it fails:

The energy bill nearing passage in Congress, promoted by the Bush administration as an important step toward making the U.S. less reliant on foreign oil, would do little in the short term to boost the nation's energy independence or provide relief for motorists paying record gasoline prices, analysts said Wednesday.

The U.S. petroleum industry, already enjoying record profits from skyrocketing oil and natural gas prices, lobbied aggressively for the legislation and received billions in tax breaks and other incentives partly designed to encourage drilling projects.

But based on those incentives alone, the industry is unlikely to start sinking new wells — projects that require years of development before they add fresh oil and gas to the market, experts said.

"The energy bill is not going to make a meaningful difference in U.S. supplies," said Steve Enger, an analyst at Petrie Parkman & Co., an energy investment bank in Denver.

The bill, the first overhaul of national energy policy in more than a decade, is expected to be approved by the House of Representatives today and the Senate on Friday. President Bush, a former Texas oilman, has pushed for the energy bill since taking office in 2001 and is expected to sign it.

Seems to be the second time we've read the same story in the last few days--which means either it's true, or, more likely, the media is taking its cues from someone's talking points.