PASSAGE OF H.R. 6 -- (Senate - June 22, 2007)
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Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about the Energy bill that passed with my support. The bill increases biofuels production from the current mandate of 7.5 billion gallons in 2012 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The bill also establishes new appliance and lighting efficiency standards in Government buildings and includes Federal grants and loan guarantees to promote research into fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids, advanced diesel and battery technologies.
I was pleased that this bill included my very important NOPEC amendment, an amendment that passed with the support of 70 Senators. The NOPEC amendment will hold OPEC member nations to account under U.S. antitrust law when they agree to limit the supply or fix the price of oil in violation of the most basic principles of free competition. It will authorize the Justice Department--and only the Justice Department--to file suit against nations or other entities that participate in a conspiracy to limit the supply, or fix the price, of oil. In addition, it will specify that the doctrines of sovereign immunity and act of state do not exempt nations that participate in oil cartels from basic antitrust law. Further, it will give our Government a much needed tool to fight back against the selfish price-fixing conspiracy of OPEC members, a conspiracy that significantly raises the cost of gasoline and other essential energy products to millions consumers every day.
I was also pleased that this bill included an amendment I offered that would allow small manufacturers to access awards under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive title. Considering that small manufacturers that employ roughly 75 employees or less contribute 29.5 percent to all value added to automobiles, it made sense that they should have the opportunity to get these awards.
I was disappointed that the Energy bill didn't include provisions to require utilities to provide 15 percent of their electric power from renewable sources by 2020. The reduction in the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity would have strengthened our national energy security by diversifying our sources of electric generation. Also, the bill did not include an energy tax package that would have created incentives for renewable power, biofuels, plug-in hybrids, clean coal and other technologies.
Taken together, this bill allows the United States to become more energy efficient in a cost effective and responsible way.