WASHINGTON Despite complaints that new energy legislation favors oil companies, backers of the legislation said it also contains research funding for projects ranging from alternative energy sources to advanced computing.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was approved by the House on Thursday (July 28). Critics said it would do little to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, adding that the bill was larded with giveaways to U.S. oil companies already flush with record profits.
Exxon Mobile Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday its second-quarter profit rose 32 percent to $7.64 billion.
But backers of the legislation said the energy bill, which is expected to be signed shortly by President Bush, contains billions of dollars for energy research.
Research funding, most covering a five-year period, included:
$4.5 billion for renewable energy research, including $590 million for solar energy R&D and $2.9 billion for ethanol- and biomass-based fuel production.
$3.2 billion for hydrogen fuel research, including fuel cells and advanced vehicle development.
$2.6 billion over two years for energy efficiency R&D, including $150 million over five years for a Next-Generation Lighting Initiative.
$1.6 billion over two years for nuclear power research, $1.25 billion for next-generation nuclear power reactor research and $1.1 billion over two years for fusion energy projects.
$768 million over two years for research on improving the U.S. electrical power grid, including reliability.
The energy bill also included $1 billion over two years for the Energy Department's high-performance computing program.