Business Groups Attack Energy Bill
Small-business groups are attacking a green energy bill approved this week by House lawmakers that rolls back $13.5 billion in tax breaks for U.S. oil companies over the next 10 years.
The bill, which passed by 235-181 and has since moved to the Senate, also raises fuel-efficiency standards and boosts federal funding for renewable energy sources, among other measures.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the legislation a "shot heard 'round the world for energy independence for America."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among other opponents, says the bill sets unobtainable goals for renewable energy that will ultimately hurt consumers and business owners through higher energy costs.
"It would fail to produce one Btu of new energy while scaling back production from both fossil fuels and renewables," Bill Kovacs, the Washington-based business group's vice president of environment, technology and regulatory affairs, said in a statement.
Karen Kerrigan, president of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, a Washington-based advocacy group, said the higher efficiency standards will be "especially costly for small-business owners who reside in states that lack natural resources."