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Friday, 18 May, 2001, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Bush's energy proposals
Exxon oil refinery, Torrance, California
California's governor found little fault with the new energy plan
President Bush's sweeping energy plan aims to boost domestic energy production and reduce reliance on imports.

Key points of Bush plan
Promote new oil and gas drilling
Build new nuclear plants
Improve electricity grid and build new pipelines
$10bn in tax breaks to promote energy efficiency and alternative fuels

The 163-page plan includes increased oil exploration in an Arctic wildlife reserve, and an easing of regulations on oil refining, coal extraction and the building of new nuclear power plants.

It contains 105 recommendations in support of five national goals: Improving conservation, upgrading the energy distribution infrastructure, increasing energy supply, improving environmental safeguards and enhancing energy security.

However, 20 of the recommendations would require action by Congress, where fierce opposition is expected by Democrats backed by environmental organisations.

Proposals

The new energy policy aims to license 1,300 new power stations over the next 20 years, and to streamline the licensing of new nuclear plants to speed their development.

New electricity transmission lines will be built across the country, as well as more pipelines to carry oil and natural gas.

Tax breaks for fuel-efficient cars and energy efficient homes are also planned, in what is being seen as a change in attitude towards conservation measures.

President Bush addresses scientists at  Iowa Energy Center
President Bush has been on a tour to promote his energy policies
Correspondents say that initially the administration was scornful of conservation, but the tone has now changed, with tax breaks for those who use energy-efficient cars and buildings totalling $10bn over 10 years.

The White House had earlier warned that the US faced the most serious energy shortage since the oil embargoes of the 1970s, with a fundamental imbalance between supply and demand.

Among the other recommendations relating to international energy issues are:

  • Development of more natural gas pipelines and electricity transmission lines between Canada, Mexico and the US
  • Support for initiatives by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment
  • Encouragement for Greece and Turkey to link their natural gas pipeline systems to allow European countries to diversify their supplies by purchasing Caspian gas
  • Help for India to maximise its oil and natural gas production, and work to improve Russia's energy investment climate
  • Offer of space in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for both industrialised and developing countries to store oil
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US energy plan
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See also:

18 May 01 | Americas
Bush energy plan: Policy or payback?
17 May 01 | Americas
Energy tops Bush agenda
22 Apr 01 | Americas
EU presses on with Kyoto
30 Mar 01 | Americas
Kyoto: Why did the US pull out?
29 Mar 01 | Sci/Tech
Anger at US climate retreat
26 Apr 01 | Americas
US debates nuclear expansion
15 May 01 | Americas
US attraction to nuclear power
09 May 01 | Americas
Clash over Arctic reserves
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