06.28.05

Burr Supports Senate Passage of Bipartisan, Comprehensive Energy Bill

Legislation includes provisions authored by Burr

Senator Richard Burr today voted in support of bipartisan, comprehensive energy legislation that conserves energy usage while reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil. The legislation, approved by the Senate by a vote of 85-12, will now go to a House and Senate Conference to reconcile differences between the two Chambers' bills.

Senator Burr, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, supported many provisions in the legislation important to North Carolina. These provisions included:

• Language to keep North Carolina's electric rates low, while protecting rate payers throughout the nation, by encouraging the modernization and expansion of America's electricity grid. (The language was adopted from legislation introduced by Senator Burr on March 2, 2005, his first piece of legislation introduced as a Senator.)

• A production tax credit for energy generated from animal waste. This would open new opportunities for energy production, innovative and useful methods of waste disposal and increased farm income for North Carolina hog and poultry farmers.

• Increased incentives for ethanol and biodiesel production. This would help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil and improve our environment while helping North Carolina agriculture. Soybean farmers would benefit from tax credits that encourage the production of biodiesel fuels from soybean oil. Corn, sweet potato and tobacco farmers would benefit from the ethanol provisions in this bill.

"This legislation moves us away from our dependence on foreign sources of oil and into the positive direction of promoting a diverse mix of domestic sources of energy," Senator Burr said. "By approving a comprehensive energy bill, we protect our environment, promote job growth and strengthen our economic security, all at the same time."

During the debate on the energy bill, Senator Burr continued to oppose provisions that could possibly affect North Carolina's moratorium on offshore drilling.

"North Carolina has a history of protecting our coasts," added Senator Burr, a long-time opponent of lifting North Carolina's moratorium. "I will continue my efforts to honor the moratorium."

"Senator Richard Burr made strong contributions to this energy bill," said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Pete Domenici. "I have been delighted by the expertise and insight he brings to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He has been very active in deliberating every title of this bill. His contribution to modernizing our electricity grid is particularly significant. I am pleased to serve with him."

For more information, go to https://www.burr.senate.gov.