Both the House and Senate passed competing versions of energy legislation earlier this summer.
The Senate bill, H.R. 6, was passed on June 21, 2007.
the House bill, H.R. 3221, was passed on August 4, 2007.
There are a number of major substantive differences between the two bills, and it remains to be seen whether a conference committee can reach a compromise that will meet with approval in both the House and Senate.
Some of the major issues to be resolved in committee include:
- Federal Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS): The House bill requires utilities to produce 15% of their energy from renewable resources. A similar amendment to add a federal RPS to the Senate bill was blocked in the Senate.
- CAFE Standards: The Senate bill requires CAFE regulations that achieve a combined standard for passenger cars and light trucks of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Efforts to improve CAFE standards were blocked in the House.
- Tax Provisions: The House bill provides $15B in new and extended renewable energy and energy efficiency tax credits, paid for primarily through repeal of tax-breaks and other subsidies for the oil & gas industry. Similar proposals were defeated in the Senate.
- Biofuels Mandate: The Senate bill includes mandates for renewable fuel use (36 billion gallons by 2022) and advanced biofuels (21 billion gallons by 2022). The House bill does not contain mandates for biofuels.