A look at where the money in the US energy bill would go

Nov 21, 2003 01:00 AM

Here's a breakdown of where the money would go in the Republican-crafted energy bill that the Senate may vote. It already passed the House of Representatives. The Congressional Budget Office puts the 10-year cost at $ 31.12 bn, with $ 5.43 bn in direct spending and $ 25.69 bn in tax cuts. Independent watchdog groups put the cost much higher because the CBO doesn't include certain types of spending, nor more than $ 20 bn in loan guarantees.
Taxpayers for Common Sense, a liberal watchdog group, and the National Taxpayers Union, a conservative watchdog group, agree on a price tag of $ 95.99 bn. That comprises $ 72.48 bn in spending and $ 23.51 bn in tax cuts, with tax figures coming from Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.

The breakdown:
-- Science, research and development: $ 24 bn, according to the watchdogs. The CBO didn't count any of it.
-- Oil and gas industry: $ 21.84 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises $ 12.97 bn in spending and $ 8.87 bn in tax cuts. The CBO puts oiland gas spending at $ 3.78 bn.
-- Energy efficiency aid to low-income residents: $ 16.36 bn, according to watchdogs. The CBO said $ 3.06 bn.
-- Renewable energy and conservation: $ 9.08 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises about $ 4.16 bn in spending and about $ 4.91 bn in tax cuts. The CBO puts spending at $ 190 mm.
-- Coal industry: $ 7.95 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises $ 5.43 bn in spending and $ 2.52 bn in tax cuts. The CBO puts spending at $ 5 mm.
-- Nuclear industry: $ 7.37 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises $ 5.73 bn in spending and $ 1.64 bn in tax cuts. The CBO puts spending at $ 94 mm.
-- Car and fuel efficiency: $ 4.2 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises $ 1.7 bn in spending and $ 2.5 bn in tax cuts. The CBO figures the government will save $ 2.89 bn.
-- Utilities: $ 2.69 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises $ 1.36 bn in spending and $ 1.33 bn in tax cuts. The CBO puts spending at $ 1.19 bn.
-- Miscellaneous: $ 2.51 bn, according to watchdogs. That comprises $ 760 mm in spending and $ 1.75 bn in tax cuts. The CBO didn't count any of it.

Some specific "pork projects," according to Taxpayers for Common Sense:
-- $ 18 bn in loan guarantees for an Alaska-Chicago natural gas pipeline.
-- $ 2 bn to makers of the gasoline additive MTBE to help them switch to a chemical that doesn't taint drinking water.
-- $ 2 bn to help build so-called clean-coal power plants. Plus a $ 125 mm loan guarantee to switch a failed Alaska clean-coal power plant to traditional technology and an $ 800 mm loan guarantee to build a clean-coal plant in Minnesota.
-- $ 1.14 bn for a nuclear/hydrogen test project in Idaho.
-- $ 1.1 bn to restore the Louisiana coastline.
-- $ 550 mm to remove chopped-down trees from forests to burn for energy.
-- $ 48 mm to remove tariffs on imported Chinese ceiling fans.

Source: Knight Ridder Newspapers
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