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Bush energy plan: Conservation, eased regulations and diversification

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's long-range national energy policy attacks what the White House calls an "energy shortage" on several fronts, including fuel conservation, eased regulations of some energy rules, and incentives for the diversification of energy resources, such as natural and methane gas, solar power and biomass.

Bush is calling for:

  •  Executive orders and agency reviews aimed at easing regulations the industry says slow the siting and licensing of power plants and gas refineries. (More details on California power woes)

RESOURCES
 

  •  A review of the Clinton administration's interpretation of "new source review rules" that the coal industry and refiners say discourage them from making technological and other improvements because they run the risk of tougher environmental rules. (Bush plan calls for more coal-burning plants)

  •  Opening parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, and encouraging the Interior and other departments to look at opening other federal lands now off-limits to energy exploration. (More details on energy exploration)

  •  38,000 miles of new natural gas pipelines.

  •  New authority for the government to seize land for new electricity transmission lines.

"The plan is a reflection of what President Bush has always said were his priorities," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "Our nation has not had a comprehensive energy policy in years, and that has contributed to the sky-high price of gasoline and energy."

Officials say the plan includes $10 billion over 10 years for tax incentives including:

  •  $4 billion for the purchase of new energy-efficient vehicles. (More details on hybrid vehicles)

  •  $1 billion for developing methane gas from landfills, for generating electricity.

  •  Tax credits of up to $2,000 for installing solar panels on residential homes.

  •  Several other tax incentives to encourage development and use of alternative fuels like biomass.

There is also a $1.5 billion tax incentive to make it easier for utilities to sell nuclear plants; officials said those transactions are now double-taxed.

Bush will sign an executive order this week requiring all federal agencies to consider energy when drafting new rules and regulations. A second order will require agencies to expedite permits for energy-related projects.

Looking overseas, the report urges a review of sanctions that could possibly limit U.S. companies from taking a lead in developing oil and other energy resources in the Caspian Sea. While the report calls generally for a review of all international sanctions, the president had made clear he opposes, at least for now, lifting sanctions on Iran, Iraq and Libya. (More details on international energy strategy.)

CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King contributed to this report.








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