Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Legislating A Change

How much can you force a population to move towards an alternative form of energy? How much of a push is right and just?

California sets "clean energy" oil tax on ballot

Californians will vote in November on a ballot measure proposing a constitutional amendment that would tax oil production to fund a range of alternative energy efforts, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said on Wednesday.
Supporters are painting the vote over the ballot measure as between friendly environmentalists who want to cut energy prices versus polluting Big Oil and corporations seeking to drain consumers' wallets.

Opponents say the initiative is a sheep in wolves' clothing that if passed will create an unchecked bureaucracy and not only higher taxes but also higher fuel prices in the end.
Joint Israel-US alternative energy development bill goes to Congress

American legislation focusing on joint solutions for energy security between the United States and Israel is being discussed this week in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. HR 2730 - the United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act - is designed to "establish a grant program to fund eligible joint ventures between United States and Israeli businesses and academic persons, to establish the International Energy Advisory Board, and for other purposes." The bill calls for the creation of a $20 million annual grant program administered by the Department of Energy. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. introduced the legislation as the sole sponsor in the last Congress and reintroduced it May 26, 2005 with Rep. John B. Shadegg, R-Ariz. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hailed the Shadegg-Sherman Bill during his address to a joint session of Congress May 24.

Energy Incentives
The "Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006," S. 2747, is sponsored by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the ranking member of the Energy Committee. He has drawn bipartisan support for the bill in the Energy Committee and is committed to ensuring that the necessary tax incentives are supported by the Senate Finance Committee, on which he's also a member. The chances of passage should be good. The reason: This is legislation America needs.

Bingaman's bill would encourage the swift introduction of alternative energy automotive technologies by helping U.S. automakers revamp their manufacturing plants for the production of new hybrid and highly energy efficient cars and by ensuring that alternative fuels are readily available to consumers across the country. The bill would encourage the use of cellulosic ethanol and keep in place tax incentives to encourage automakers and consumers to embrace alternative energy vehicles.

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