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Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Big Moment for Small Business

The President spoke yesterday at the Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week's Conference and spent considerable time discussing the country's focus on reducing U.S. dependence on foreign energy. The President discussed the importance of technology in the creation and development of alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, ethanol, wind and solar; development of which will help to lead us away from our current fossil feul path. While he acknowledges the need to steer away from fossil fuels, he also reminded the audience of his request for $2 billion from congress over 10 years for his coal initiative, and his hope for oil and natural gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is clear that we need to become energy independent, but in doing so we must ensure that the domestic landscape does not suffer as a result.

For Full Report of the President's Remarks Click Below:

Monday, April 25, 2005

U.S. Energy Bill Has Many Fuming

What better way to start this blog than with a discussion of the U.S. energy bill, which was recently approved by a vote in the House of Representatives 249-193. Three key issues stand out from this bill and have groups all over the United States involved in heated discussions.

Conservation groups are up in arms with the proposed authorization to allow oil drilling along the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If the bill passes with this in place it would reverse the set of protections initiated in 1991 by George H.W. Bush and lift the moratorium on new ocean drilling which had been extended in 1998 by President Clinton through to 2012.

At a time when oil and gas companies are earning record profits, the U.S. energy bill grants producers of oil, gas, nuclear, coal and electric utilities approximately $8 billion in tax breaks and financial incentives.

The third controversial element of the bill is seen in the proposed protection for the makers of methyl tertiary-butly ether (MTBE) from lawsuits associated with water contamination leaving thousands of communities with MTBE contamination problems without recourse.

Whether or not the U.S. energy bill and its controversial provisions will pass Senate is yet to be seen, but if the uproar it has caused so far is any indication, I'd say significant revisions are forthcoming.

For Additional Information on the U.S. Energy Bill Review: