The U.S. House Thursday OK’d a bill that dramatically changes American energy policy, raising auto mileage standards, promoting renewable fuel sources and authorizing regional efficiency standards on HVAC equipment.
Passage of the bill was hailed as historic by supporters. However, it is expected to run into hard opposition in the Senate, where Republicans oppose eliminating the oil and gas company tax breaks that are to fund the renewable energy research the bill requires.
If the bill does pass the Senate in its current form, President George W. Bush has said he would veto it.
A number of HVAC industry groups, including the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, also opposed the bill, saying its provisions allowing the Department of Energy to establish regional efficiency rules would drive up costs for contractors, wholesalers and consumers.
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