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ANWR Drilling Royalties to Fund Renewable Energy?

Last week, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare, CA) introduced a bipartisan Bill titled the American-Made Energy Freedom Act, which takes a unique approach to funding alternative energy development. By opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration, and placing the lease and royalty revenues generated into a trust fund, the next generation of homegrown energy would be incubated, says the Congressman.

All monies placed in the American-Made Energy Trust Fund can only be used for the development of new homegrown technologies that will fuel America in the future. The Bill, of course, will have to compete with a flurry of energy legislation put forward by Congress this summer. "Congress has a responsibility to deal with our nation's energy demands in a bipartisan manner that benefits all Americans. As such, we have proposed the largest investment in alternative energies in the history of the United States and, most importantly, it can all be done at no expense to the taxpayer," said Rep. Nunes. The Bill's proponents say the fund would support the following provisions: -- Cellulosic Ethanol Tax Credit. Cellulosic Ethanol, the next generation ethanol, is a renewable fuel produced from plants and agriculture waste, which can be found in all 50 states. This can be developed as a primary fuel for cars and trucks to potentially displace our dependence on foreign oil. -- Coal-to-Liquid Tax Credit. Coal liquefaction can produce a virtually sulfur-free diesel fuel that is cleaner than conventional diesel and can also produce jet fuel. This technology could produce approximately 2.6 million barrels of fuel (109 million gallons) per day by 2025 and meet 10% of projected U.S. oil demand, according to Nunes. -- Solar and Fuel Cell Investment Tax Credits. Extends the residential and business tax credit through 2012. In California, residential solar installations rose 53% in 2004, thanks to a generous state rebate program. This could be magnified with expanded federal incentives. -- Fund Emerging Renewable Fuels Development. Allocate funds to the Advanced Biofuel Technologies Program, the Integrated Biorefinery Demonstration and University Biodiesel Programs, the Improved Biomass Use Grant Program. Proposed programs designed to foster the production technology, facility construction, and capacity improvements for renewable fuels. -- Fund Clean and Advanced Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Provide financial commitment by investing in projects that avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

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