Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he’s very doubtful the massive Energy Bill will pass Congress prior to its adjourning for its August break. Harkin, a Democrat, says it means many new incentives for Iowans involved in alternate energy industries, like ethanol, biodiesel and wind, may be put on hold. Harkin says Republicans are “foot-dragging” on the $15.5 billion package which has “a couple hundred amendments” still pending. All is not lost, Harkin says, for legislation that aimed to boost production of corn-based ethanol fuel and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Harkin says the Renewable Fuels Standards measure could be attached to legislation other than the Energy Bill, perhaps the Highway Bill or something else, as he says the pro-ethanol measure has widespread support. Other legislation that might be held up by the Energy Bill includes an extension of the wind energy and biomass tax credits, a production tax credit for electricity generated from livestock waste and for the manufacture and use of super-energy-efficient home appliances.
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