Senate, House committees pare back energy bill

Nov. 12, 2002 — U.S. Senate and House committee members have negotiated a lighter version of the anticipated energy bill which extends nuclear plant insurance but does not deal with electricity market changes and vehicle fuel efficiency.

A finalized version of the compromise was expected to go before the full Senate and House for a vote Tuesday, according to a release from the U.S. Senate’s energy policy office.

The bill would extend the Price Anderson Act until August 2017. The bill also continues to make nuclear plants immune from liability claims of more than $9 billion, according to a report from Reuters News Service. The authorization period would be increased to 15 years.

The bill would also give states more safety oversight on crude oil and natural gas pipelines, raise civil penalties for regulatory violations to $1 million per violation, and reinforce protections for whistle-blowers.

But committee members decided to table several issues, including a proposal to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to drilling and a reform of the U.S. wholesale electricity markets, and a measure requiring a tripling of the use of ethanol-blended gasoline.

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