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H.R. 6 (110th): Energy Independence And Security Act Of 2007

3380 words - 14 pages

Introduction
Climate change has garnered much attention over the past decade.  Similarly, the cost of energy has become a growing debate.  Ultimately, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was introduced in response to the growing concerns with climate change as well as the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions coupled with increased oil price. These factors brought these issues to the general public’s attention and raised questions regarding the United States’ own energy efficiency and reliance on foreign energy. After the United States declined to ratify the Kyoto protocol, which would have helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we fell behind in standards for clean energy and energy independence through clean alternatives (Meade, 2008).

The Energy Independence and Security Act was signed into law on December 19th, 2007 by President Bush (United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2013). The law was meant to promote energy independence within the United States, increase U.S. energy security, increase domestic production of clean renewable fuels, protect consumers, increase energy efficiency and promote research for greenhouse gas capture and storage (EPA, 2010). This bill was a part of the Democratic Party's 100 hour Plan, which was a plan  enacted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the Democratic Party took control of the Congress in the 2006 midterm elections (Pelosi, 2006).

The Energy Independence and Security Act was originally called the Clean Energy Act of 2007 and was introduced to the House of Representatives by Nick Rahall from West Virginia (Sissine, 2007). Interestingly, Rahall was one of four democrats to oppose the final bill. When the bill was introduced to the Senate it was part of the Senate Bill S. 1419: Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. The original bill had two important provisions which were not included in the final version: the renewable portfolio standard and a broad tax package. The renewable portfolio would have required that utilities produced fifteen percent of their power from a renewable source. The tax package would have funded renewable energy by repealing a 21 billion dollar set of tax breaks for domestic oil and gas producers (Currier et al, 2007).
Agenda Setting
The Energy Independence and Security Act was introduced for a number of reasons. The State of the Union Address by George Bush in 2006 was one reason the issues addressed in this bill gained status and became part of the agenda for the 110th Congress. In this State of the Union Address, President Bush attended to the U.S. energy policy by emphasizing the importance of America remaining competitive, which he explained requires affordable energy. Moreover, President Bush acknowledged that America is addicted to imported oil; he also explained that one of the best ways to break this addiction is through technology (Washington Post 2006). In 2006 America imported approximately 5...

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