Lawmakers reached an agreement, putting together $14.5 billion in energy tax breaks as part of a major energy bill years in the making. Both the House and Senate are expected to approve the bill this week.
The deal would provide more than $8.4 billion over the next decade to traditional energy industries -- including oil, natural gas, coal, electric utilities and nuclear power. A little more than $5 billion would go towards renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and cleaner-burning vehicles.
President Bush has sought passage of the energy bill since taking office in 2001, and a spokeswoman for the White House said the president supports the bill in its current form. His administration had originally sought a $6.7 billion tax package, but the Joint Committee on Taxation said the 10-year cost would be closer to $11.5 billion. The bill would generate an estimated $3 billion in revenue to partly offset the tax breaks.
The amount designated for renewable energy sources is much less than advocates had requested, and several environmental groups released statements criticizing the bill for giving government assistance to profitable companies during a time of rising energy costs.
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