Energy Freedom, Strings Attached

from Wildlife Promise

Ahhhhh, what’s an energy bill without a good name? The “American-Made Energy Freedom Act” was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

It’s purpose? “To establish the American-Made Energy Trust Fund, to increase the tax credits for cellulosic biomass ethanol, to extend tax incentives for solar and fuel cell property, to promote coal-to-liquid fuel activities…” and oh yeah, “to direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program for the Coastal Plain of Alaska…”

The bill estimates that drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would generate $3 billion in leasing revenue and $36 billion in royalty revenue over 30 years. A bit of “Oily Math” if you ask me.

The money would fund tax credits for emerging renewable energy development and a clean and advanced energy loan guarantee program.

Somewhat like the time last December when Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) decided to try to open the refuge by earmarking revenues to pay for disaster relief and border security.

From the Sacramento Bee:

“By devoting ANWR revenues to alternative energy programs including solar and ethanol, the lawmakers hope they have come upon the right Capitol Hill combination,” (“Latest deal would link drilling for Arctic oil to solar, ethanol,” by Michael Doyle, 7/26/06).

Is it the right combination? Is funding renewable energy worth opening America’s Arctic Refuge?