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Bush signs $12 billion energy bill

Aug. 8, 2005 at 11:55 AM

ALBURQUERQUE, N.M., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush signed a comprehensive energy bill Monday in New Mexico, home to a senator who did much to ensure the bill's passage.

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., shepherded the 1,724-page bill through Congress, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

The $12.3 billion measure includes tax breaks and loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants, clean coal technology and wind energy.

Utilities will be required to comply with federal reliability standards for its electricity grid, instead of self-regulation, to reduce the chance of a power blackout, like the one that struck the Midwest and Northeast in the summer of 2003.

For consumers, the law would provide tax credits for buying hybrid gasoline-electric cars and making energy-conservation improvements in new or existing homes. Also, beginning in 2007, the measure extends daylight-saving time by one month to save energy.

The new law, however, does not open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.

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