Jun 28 2005

Senate Passes the Energy Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today voted in support of the Energy bill which passed through the chamber on an overwhelming 85-12 vote. The legislation has been a top priority for President Bush since he took office in 2001. “Passage of the energy bill through the Senate is a major step forward for the nation in helping make us energy independent,” said Graham. “It contains provisions encouraging additional hydrogen research and the construction of new nuclear energy facilities. It meets the major objectives of producing and conserving more energy, diversifying our energy supply, and employing the latest technology to deliver energy. ” Graham noted the Senate legislation contained over $3.5 billion in funding over the next 5 years for hydrogen research. The language in the Senate bill was largely based upon language authored by Graham and introduced in the Senate earlier this year. “What Detroit was to the automotive industry, South Carolina can be to hydrogen,” said Graham. “We’ve got research initiatives going on across the state and we’re on the ground floor in cutting-edge hydrogen research. The legislation will benefit our state by helping push further in hydrogen research.” “The legislation also strengthens our nuclear energy sector,” said Graham. “Nuclear energy is a clean source of power and one we need to utilize more in the coming years. It truly is a shame that we have not licensed a new nuclear facility in the United States in three decades. “Unfortunately, changes in energy policy will not mean people at the pump will see an immediate decrease in their fuel prices,” said Graham. “Like President Bush has said, ‘I wish I could just wave a wand and lower the price at the pump.’ It’s taken a while for us to get into this situation and it will take a while to begin working our way out. Today’s vote was a big step in the right direction. I look forward to considering the final version of the legislation when it emerges from the House-Senate conference.” #####