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By Robert Rapier on Feb 18, 2009 with no responses

The Biggest Energy Bill in History

At least according to the New York Times, if you pull out the energy-related provisions from the just passed stimulus package, the $80 billion “would amount to the biggest energy bill in history.”

An $80 Billion Start

An excerpt from the NYT editorial:

RENEWABLE ENERGY In addition to new money for research into alternative fuels, the measure provides roughly $20 billion in tax incentives for wind, solar, hydroelectric and other renewable power sources. These incentives, which are crucial for future development, were the subject of endless Congressional bickering last year, and it is heartening to see them enshrined in law.

MASS TRANSIT Federal transportation spending has long favored highways over mass transit by a 4-to-1 margin, even though mass transit is far more effective in reducing oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The package improves this ratio while providing $17.7 billion for mass transit, Amtrak and high-speed rail, nearly a 70 percent increase over present spending levels.

I have spent some time trying to read through the bill and pull out energy related items, but it is quite an undertaking. You can read through the bill, and all of the amendments, summaries, and committee reports here:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

I have yet to see a good summary of the energy provisions. My skimming of the bill indicates that the energy section is primarily just amendments to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and various other energy bills from previous years. I doubt that anyone read through it carefully before passage, and a lot of surprising provisions are likely to be uncovered as people have a chance to digest it all.