NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Senate-Passed Energy Bill Could Hurt Consumers

November 7, 2002

The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration predicts that the growth in energy demand will increasingly outpace U.S. production within the next 20 years. Both the House and Senate have passed bills in response to this predicted energy crisis, but the Senate-passed bill would have negative economic effects, say analysts.

  • Electricity suppliers would be required to obtain an increasing proportion of their power production from renewable energy resources, starting with 1 percent in 2005 and increasing to 10 percent by 2020.
  • The EIA estimates that this proposal will cost approximately $12 billion a year in 2020.
  • The Senate bill would promote drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions based on uncertain scientific evidence, which would harm the already weak economy and raise the cost of energy for consumers.
  • The Senate also refused to allow drilling on 2,000 acres of the 19-million-acre Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

The House and Senate versions of the energy bill have not been reconciled by a conference committee -- which is necessary since both Houses must approve the same text to present to the president. Action on the bill is expected when the new Congress meets in January 2003.

Source: Charli E. Coon, J.D., "The Senate-Passed Entergy Bill Will Hurt Consumers and Taxpayers Without Solving the Energy Problem" Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1590, September 18, 2002, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington D.C., 20002-4999, (202) 546-4400.


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