April 24, 2002 — The U.S. Senate has added about $14 billion in energy tax breaks to its pending energy legislation.
The 86-13 vote to add the tax breaks primes the Senate to finish the legislation by the end of the week, the Associated Press reported. A vote on the bill will happen on Thursday.
The almost final Senate version of the energy bill still will have to be reconciled with the House version, completed earlier.
The Senate on Wednesday rejected an amendment that would have required stronger consumer protection by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in electricity markets.
The largest difference between the House and Senate bills is that the House bill would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while the Senate voted down such a provision last week. Also, the Senate bill would require triple the ethanol to be used in gasoline.
About half the energy tax breaks would focus on energy conservation and support for renewable energy sources. The other half would help producers of oil, gas, coal and nuclear power.