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. U.S. energy chief: Energy bill concerns

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Dec 4, 2007
Congress is poised to pass an energy bill largely backed by environmental groups, but the U.S. energy secretary warns of going too far.

"Congress has the opportunity right now to pass meaningful legislation," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman at a news conference hosted by the global energy firm Platts.

He specifically touted the Bush administration's plan to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years.

And while he said a "good energy bill" includes setting fuel standards, he opposed a number of issues.

He warned against "a narrow, one-size-fits-all renewable portfolio standard" -- a policy that requires a percentage of electricity from renewable energy sources.

He also said, despite record oil prices, taxes should not be raised or tax breaks reversed for the oil and gas sector.

"A good energy bill," Bodman said, "would not harm domestic oil and gas production, it should expand it."

He also said so-called "NOPEC" legislation, aimed at the oil cartel OPEC, "would undermine international law or alter sovereign immunity to the detriment of interests abroad."

He also decried the inclusion of a labor law demanding "prevailing wages" be paid to workers on energy projects funded or assisted by federal dollars.

Ben Lando, UPI Energy Editor

(blando@upi.com)

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On Nov. 27 the Russian energy giant agreed to buy Turkmenistan's gas at a higher price, and this sparked the rumor that the gas price for Ukraine would be raised since Gazprom resells Turkmen gas to Ukraine.

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