The energy bill passed recently by the U.S. Congress calls for insufficient investment in renewable energy technologies, according to an energy coalition in that country.WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-08-14 [SolarAccess.com] The energy bill passed recently by the U.S. Congress calls for insufficient investment in renewable energy technologies, according to an energy coalition in that country. The bill tips a highly unbalanced playing field even further and sets back national energy policy years by giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to oil, natural gas, mining and nuclear power, says the Sustainable Energy Coalition. It ignores the concerns expressed by business and environmental leaders and technical experts, and shows an inadequate commitment to energy efficiency technologies, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind technologies. “It is astonishing that in the 21st century, we are still relying in many ways on century-old technologies to serve our energy needs,” says national coordinator Susanna Drayne. “The bill’s emphasis on fossil fuels is shortsighted, detrimental to public health and the environment, and is corporate welfare of the worst order.” The House approved $33.5 billion in energy tax credits, three-quarters of which will go to the fossil and nuclear industries although big oil companies are reaping their largest profits ever, says the group. The House defeated an amendment that would have required significant increases in fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks and, instead, included a token increase in standards for SUVs only. “Why spend billions of dollars on the highly profitable dirtiest polluters with the most mature markets?,” asks Drayne. “The backers of this plan clearly define nuclear power as an innovative technology rather than the health and safety threat it is.” Given the nation’s current immediate energy needs and worsening global warming, SEC says now is not the time to de-emphasize energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and increase emissions. The Sustainable Energy Coalition was formed in 1992 to represent 30 national business, environmental, consumer and energy policy organizations. It promotes increased federal support for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.