Thursday, December 06, 2007

U.S. House Approves 2007 Federal Energy Bill; Senate Cloture Vote Expected Saturday

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the energy bill (H.R. 6) on a vote of 235-181.

The AP reports:
The House approved the first increase in federal automobile fuel efficiency requirements in three decades Thursday as part of an energy bill that also repeals billions of dollars oil company tax breaks and encourages use of renewable fuels. The bill, passed by a vote of 235-181, faces a certain filibuster in the Senate and a veto threat from the White House.

Democrats characterized the legislation as ``a new direction'' in U.S. energy policy away from dependence on fossil fuels. But Republicans said the actions amount to government mandates that would lead to higher energy prices, while doing little to produce more domestic oil or natural gas - fuels they say will remain essential for decades to come.
The action now shifts over to the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid apparently wants to move soon on the bill, according a report earlier today from E&E Daily (subscription required):
Reid wants the Senate to act quickly when and if the House passes the bill. He said on the Senate floor Wednesday that he plans to file for cloture -- which means cutting off debate -- on the bill today. A spokesman said a Saturday cloture vote is likely. The timing of a subsequent vote on the bill itself is not clear.
David Roberts over at Gristmill has a similar report.

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