- The Washington Times - Monday, November 17, 2003


President Bush yesterday commended Capitol Hill leaders for reaching an agreement over the weekend on an energy package before winding down this congressional session.

“I’m pleased that we’re finally developing a national energy plan, so we’re making good progress on the domestic front here at home,” Mr. Bush said. “I want to thank the leaders in the House and Senate for coming together on two important pieces of legislation.”

The massive energy package promotes alternative-energy production and would create thousands of jobs across many segments of the economy.

The bill doubles the production of ethanol, a boon for corn-growing states, and includes tax incentives totaling billions of dollars for producers of nuclear power, clean coal, oil and natural gas. Tax incentives were also included for renewable solar and wind energy.

However, environmental and liberal groups were not pleased by the bill, which they attacked as a special-interest giveaway to businesses.

Energy interests have been “giving heavily to the Republicans for a long time, and this is what it’s all about in the end. It looks like they got an energy bill that they wanted,” Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, told reporters.

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