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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 05:20 GMT 06:20 UK
US House passes clean energy bill
By Peter Nettleship
BBC News

Wind farm - file photo
The draft law aims to boost US use of renewable energy
The US House of Representatives has passed a radical new energy bill, which aims to expand the use of renewable fuels and cut tax breaks to oil firms.

The draft law details support for "clean" energy sources like biofuels, wind, solar and geothermal resources.

It would withdraw some $16bn (8bn) in annual subsidies from the oil industry.

But the bill is opposed by President George Bush, and still has to be merged with other energy measures passed by the Senate before it can become law.

If it passes in its current form, the bill will require all American utility companies to generate 15% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.

It also calls for more stringent efficiency standards for lighting and electrical appliances.

And it would do away with tax concessions long enjoyed by the major oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil, Conoco and Chevron.

Powerful lobby

But there is a long way to go yet.

The bill has to be married up with a very different approach taken by the Senate.

The Democrats, who now control Congress, are taking on one of America's most powerful lobbies.

The oil industry has friends in very high places - not least inside the Bush administration.

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