Gasoline Prices: New Legislation and Proposals

Order Code IB10134 CRS Issue Brief for Congress Received through the CRS Web Gasoline Prices: New Legislation and Proposals Updated June 2, 2006 Carl E. Behrens and Carol Glover Resources, Science, and Industry Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CONTENTS SUMMARY MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS Legislative Activities Why Are Prices So High? Crude Oil Prices How Oil and Gasoline Prices Are Determined Gasoline Prices Policy Options Oil-Related Legislation Reducing Impacts on Consumers Mid- to Long-Term Supply and Demand ANWR Savings Goals OCS Leasing Refinery Revitalization LEGISLATION FOR ADDITIONAL READING CRS Issue Briefs CRS Reports IB10134 06-02-06 Gasoline Prices: New Legislation and Proposals SUMMARY The high price of gasoline was an important consideration during the debate on major energy legislation, which ended August 8 as the President signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, H.R. 6 (P.L. 109-58). However, prices continued to surge, spiking at the end of August when Hurricane Katrina shut down refining operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The continuing crisis renewed attention to some issues that were dropped or compromised in the debate over P.L. 109-58, as well as a number of initiatives to reduce the impact of high prices on consumers. on oil and gas leasing on much of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Resources Committee included leasing ANWR in their reconciliation bill sections. The House Resources Committee included provisions regarding OCS leasing, but the Senate Energy Committee did not. ANWR leasing was included in the Senate bill that passed on November 3 (S. 1932), but the House leadership dropped both ANWR and OCS provisions before its reconciliation bill, H.R. 4241, was passed on November 18 by a vote of 217-215. The conference report on the bill, approved by the House but amended in the Senate, does not contain either measure. A large number of factors combined to put pressure on gasoline prices, including increased world demand for crude oil and U.S. refinery capacity inadequate to supply gasoline to a recovering national economy. The war and continued violence in Iraq added uncertainty and a threat of supply disruption that added pressure particularly to the commodity futures markets. The gasoline price surge influenced the debate over P.L. 109-58, but the urgency of previous energy crises was lacking. In part, this may be due to the fact that there has been no physical shortage of gasoline or lines at the pump. In addition, the expectation of former crises — that prices were destined to grow ever higher — has not been prevalent. Among the issues that received new attention were vehicle fuel economy standards, leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf, and refinery “revitalization” provisions. The Gasoline for America’s Security Act of 2005, H.R. 3893, was passed by the House on October 7 by a vote of 212-210. A similar bill, S. 1772, was defeated in the Environment and Public Works Committee on October 26 by a tie vote of 9-9. However, the persistence of high gasoline and oil prices into a second summer has raised alarms over the economic consequences of the situation, heightened following the disastrous effects of Hurricane Katrina. As gasoline prices surged to the $3.00 per gallon level again in spring 2006, a new wave of legislative proposals was put forth in Congress, including strengthening measures regarding price gouging and profiteering, temporarily refunding federal gasoline taxes, and windfall profits tax measures. The budget reconciliation process was the vehicle for two major energy initiatives: the opening of part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development and the lifting of the moratorium Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress IB10134 06-02-06 MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Gasoline prices surged toward $3.00 per gallon in April and stayed there during the first half of May. The approach of the summer driving season, and complications involving the phasing out of the gasoline additive MTBE, were cited by some observers as behind the latest runup. The price move stimulated a large number of new legislative initiatives and renewed interest in several that had been under consideration for some time. On May 3, the House passed the Federal Energy Price Protection Act (H.R. 5253) to prevent price gouging. The tentative schedule for the week of June 5 included possible House floor action on H.R. 5254, the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act of 2006, and other energy legislation. BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS Legislative Activities The continuing crisis of high gasoline prices has led to a broad spectrum of proposed new legislation. Despite passage of the major Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) last summer, many Members are exploring a variety of measures to increase supply and reduce demand in the short term, and to reduce the impact of high prices on consumers. Some are also proposing to revisit longer-term policies, some of which were passed up in the process of reaching agreement on P.L. 109-58. This issue brief reviews the major legislative initiatives to deal with the gasoline price issue. To put these proposals in perspective, it first describes some of the factors that have led to the high prices of both crude oil and gasoline. Why Are Prices So High? The run-up of gasoline prices that began in spring 2004 (see Figure 1) climaxed a period of almost five years during which gasoline prices demonstrated a great deal of regional volatility but less of an increase at the national level. In 2004 a large number of factors combined to exert pressure on gasoline prices in all parts of the country. Some of these factors have affected the price of crude oil, and others the cost of producing and marketing gasoline. Crude Oil Prices. Past energy crises have demonstrated that oil is traded in a world market, in which events in remote areas affect the price of crude for almost everyone. In the 12-18 months leading up to the crisis, these events included the following: ! ! Decisions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel, after having reduced production quotas in 2002, to raise them only slowly and reluctantly; Unexpected demand growth in China; CRS-1 IB10134 ! ! ! 06-02-06 Disruptions in oil production in major exporters, including Venezuela, Iraq and Nigeria; Decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, the currency in which oil is traded in the world market, compared to other major currencies, particularly the Euro. Uncertainty and fear of major disruptions in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, in the context of the war in Iraq and the threat of terrorism. Figure 1 . Average Daily Nationwide Price of Unleaded Gasoline, January 2002 - May 2006 3.20 3.00 Dollars per Gallon 2.80 2.60 2.40 2.20 2.00 1.80 1.60 1.40 1.20 ay M O c Ja t n '06 Ju l O c Ja t n '05 A pr Ju l O c Ja t n '04 A pr Ju l O Ja ct n '03 A pr Ju l pr A Ja n '02 1.00 Note: Prices include federal, state and local taxes. Last date above is May 15, 2006. Source: Daily Fuel Gauge Report, American Automobile Association, [http://www.fuelgaugereport.com], compiled by CRS. How Oil and Gasoline Prices Are Determined. The price of crude oil is set through the interaction of world demand and supply. World demand, at 83.6 million barrels per day in 2005, grew by 4% in 2004, moderated to 1.3% in 2005, and is forecasted to grow by 1.8% in 2006.1 World supply, at 84.5 million barrels per day, was less than 1 million barrels per day more than demand, leaving relatively little excess supply to draw on if the market was disrupted by natural or political disasters. When excess supply on the market is low, prices tend to rise and become more volatile. Higher prices for crude oil translate directly into higher prices for gasoline. Crude oil accounts for about 55% of the cost of gasoline. Refining, distributing, and marketing 1 International Energy Agency, Oil Market Report, April 12, 2006. pp.4-6. CRS-2 IB10134 06-02-06 account for about 26% of the cost of gasoline, and taxes account for about 19%.2 Whether the crude oil a refiner processes is purchased on the open market, or is produced by the oil company itself, higher costs for any element in the cost of gasoline are likely to be passed on to consumers. Gasoline prices have also increased due to limited refining capacity in the United States, the range of fuel blends required to meet air pollution requirements, and the mandated use of ethanol as an additive. As often happens when commodity prices are volatile, speculation in futures contracts accentuated the upward price pressure and appeared to continue high prices longer than would be expected as market fundamentals push toward lower prices. Gasoline Prices. Just as a number of factors led to increased crude prices, a combination of features in the U.S. refinery industry contributed to an increase in gasoline prices. ! U.S. demand for gasoline has increased as economic growth has continued (See Figure 2). ! Domestic refining capacity has declined, both in number of refineries — from 324 in 1981 to 153 in 2002 — and in total capacity — from 18.62 million barrels per day (mbd) in 1981 to 16.78 mbd in 2002. ! The structure of the refining industry has changed. In 1981 most refining capacity was owned and operated by integrated oil companies that supplied their own crude oil, refined it, distributed it, and marketed the products. Refining was only one part of the company’s profit-making operation, and frequently was not an important profit maker. Now the refining industry is characterized more by independently owned, nonintegrated firms. When refineries are the sole source of revenue to the owners, it becomes more important that the operation be profitable, leading to pressure to raise prices. ! The refining industry has been operating with lower inventories of both crude oil and gasoline, as a means of cutting costs. The side effect has been reduced ability to meet unanticipated demand, leading to greater price pressure. ! Gasoline markets are fragmented regionally because air quality requirements have led to numerous different formulations to meet varying standards. In meeting demand for these regional formulations, called “boutique fuels,” refiners lose flexibility to meet local variations in demand elsewhere, leading to increased price pressure. ! With domestic refining capacity constraints, a greater proportion of gasoline demand is being met with imported products. Foreign refiners typically manufacture products designed to sell in the international market, not the 2 Energy Information Administration data based on March 2006 data and a base price of gasoline of $2.43 per gallon. See [http://www.eia.doe.gov]. CRS-3 IB10134 06-02-06 special product “boutique fuels” demanded by a significant share of the U.S. market. ! Refiners have had increased costs in the past year to comply with new requirements to limit sulfur content and to switch from the oxygenate additive MTBE to ethanol. These various factors pushed the nationwide average price of gasoline over $2 per gallon in May 2004. By mid-June, Energy Information Administrator Guy Caruso was able to note a slight decline in prices, and tell a Senate Energy Committee hearing that, “absent major disruptions, oil and gasoline markets may be turning a corner.”3 However, persistent high crude prices pushed gasoline prices over $2 again in October, and yet again in March 2005. By April 2005, Caruso was suggesting that increasing world demand for oil might keep the price of crude above $50 per barrel through 2006.4 In fact, in August the price surged close to $70. Figure 2 . Consumption of Motor Gasoline, 2000 - April 2006 10 Million Barrels per Day 9.5 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 Jan '00 Jul Jan '01 Jul Jan '02 Jul Jan '03 Monthly Averages Jul Jan '04 Jul Jan '05 Jul Jan Apr '06 Annual Averages Source: EIA, Monthly Energy Review, April 2006, Table 3.4 and Weekly Petroleum Status Report, May 10, 2006, Table 10. 3 Guy Caruso, statement before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, June 15, 2004. 4 “EIA: Oil to remain above $50 through ‘06.” Oil Daily, April 8, 2005, p. 1. Report of a speech by Guy Caruso at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, April 7, 2005. CRS-4 IB10134 06-02-06 The price surge intensified discussion of energy policy and led to further calls for passage of energy legislation. However, until the climax of the Katrina disaster, the urgency of previous energy crises has been lacking. Throughout the period, U.S. gasoline consumption continued to rise, although the usual summer peak in consumption appears to have been somewhat blunted in 2004, as shown in Figure 2. In part this may be because, although the price of gasoline in nominal terms set a record, in real terms it did not appear to be reaching the level of the Iranian crisis years of the early 1980s (see Figure 3), again until Katrina pushed it toward the $3.00-per-gallon mark. Further, unlike the earlier crises, there was no physical shortage of gasoline, and no lines at the pump, except in local disasteraffected areas. Consumption of gasoline fell sharply after prices peaked. The drop was typical of the post-Labor Day decline but more steep than in previous years. As Figure 4 indicates, the proportion of consumer expenditures on oil and gasoline had declined from the high levels of the 1970s and early 1980s. Data are not yet available to indicate what effect the price run-up starting in 2004 has had on this measure. Perhaps most important, the common view during the earlier crises was that oil prices not only were high, but were destined to become ever higher in the coming years. This view is no longer prevalent, and the general expectation has been that the price increase is a temporary phenomenon, although lasting longer than expected. The current crisis has led to some analytical speculation that world oil production has peaked, but additions to proved world oil reserves seem to contradict that thesis. Oil industry analysts appear confident of a long life remaining for the resource and argue that if oil is replaced, it will be because of improved alternative technologies, not because the world is running out of oil. Figure 3. Nominal and Real Price of Gasoline, 1973-2004 and March 2005 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1973 1977 1981 1985 1989 Nominal Price 1993 1997 2001 Real Price (2004 Dollars) Source: EIA, Monthly Energy Review, May 2005, Tables 1.6 and 9.4, calculated by CRS. CRS-5 Mar '05 IB10134 06-02-06 Figure 4. Consumer Spending on Oil as % of GDP, 1970 - 2001 10 8 6 4 2 0 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 Source: Calculated by CRS with data from EIA, Annual Energy Review 2005, Table 3.5. GDP from Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce. As shown in Figure 5, gasoline prices historically have increased less than the general rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). After the surge in 1973, and again after the 1979-1980 run-up, gasoline prices grew very slowly and even declined, dropping sharply in 1986. A sudden increase in 2000 was similarly followed by slow or declining prices. During the current run-up, gasoline price increases have far outpaced the general CPI increase. CRS-6 IB10134 06-02-06 Figure 5. Percent Change in Gasoline Prices Compared to the Consumer Price Index, 1973-2004 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2004 2003 Source: EIA, Annual Energy Review 2004, Table 5.24. CPI from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Calculated by CRS. Policy Options The several energy crises of the past led to major legislative action, twice in the 1970s and once following the 1991 Gulf War. The just-passed Energy Policy Act of 2005 differs from the previous actions because the Congress had been considering major energy legislation for three years before the situation became a nationwide concern. By the time the bill finally moved through the Congress, the major issues had already been fully debated, and the final version differed little from previous initiatives except for resolving a number of issues that had blocked passage before. As in previous legislative energy debates, a major policy divide existed between those who view the gasoline-fueled automobile as a temporary necessity to be tolerated only until a substitute fuel or alternative means of transportation can be developed, and those who expect oil to be the same dominant transportation fuel in the indefinite future that it is at present. Compromise agreements have been reached via a combination of measures that enhance the development of alternatives or restrain the growth in demand for oil, on the one hand, and those that increase production or reduce the cost of supplying that demand, on the other. However, individual measures often carry with them complicating features that make passage more difficult. In addition, major legislation often becomes the vehicle for measures that typically would not find enough support to pass as individual bills, or which may be added to gain support for the whole measure. In the legislative climate of the 108th Congress, balancing the various interests involved proved too difficult a task, despite the influence of CRS-7 IB10134 06-02-06 a nationwide energy crisis in an election year. Under the stimulation of continued high oil and gasoline prices, the 109th Congress pursued the goal again, this time successfully. However, as gasoline prices continued to surge, and damage to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas resources and facilities by Hurricane Katrina was assessed, calls for further measures to address the crisis were heard in Congress. Continued price pressure into the spring of 2006 has solidified the calls into specific legislative proposals. Oil-Related Legislation Reducing Impacts on Consumers. A number of proposals are aimed at easing the impact of high prices on consumers, or are aimed at the oil industry’s price-making policies. Price Gouging. The rapid increase in gasoline prices following the Katrina disaster led to allegations of price gouging. P.L. 109-58 included a provision requiring the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct an investigation into price gouging in the recent increases in gasoline prices. H.R. 3893, as passed the House October 7, includes provisions requiring FTC to define price gouging and penalize violators. After gasoline prices surged again in April 2006, momentum increased for various price-gouging proposals. Several initiatives that would impose windfall profits taxes on crude oil profits were also introduced. On May 3, the House passed the Federal Energy Price Protection Act, H.R. 5253, by a vote of 389-34. The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission within six months after passage to issue rules defining price gouging in crude oil, gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, and biofuel, and would prohibit gouging so defined. Tax Relief. On April 26, 2006, Senator Domenici proposed an amendment to the FY2006 emergency supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939) that included a $100 “Fuel Tax Holiday Rebate.” The proposal was cosponsored by Majority Leader Frist and other Senators. The amendment also contained provisions about price-gouging, easing restrictions on rebates for hybrid vehicles, and approving leasing of ANWR. However, the amendment was withdrawn May 2. Suspending Import Duties on Ethanol. Because the latest gasoline price run-up was attributed in part to the need to increase use of ethanol, some Members, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Lugar and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Barton, have proposed suspending temporarily duties on imported ethanol, particularly from Brazil. “Boutique” Fuels. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 had some provisions related to local requirements for specific blends of gasoline, but some proposed legislation is aimed at further reducing “boutique fuels” requirements that, according to some observers, make the national gasoline market less flexible. H.R. 3893, the Gasoline for America’s Security Act of 2005, passed by the House October 7, 2005, by a vote of 212-210, would among other provisions require EPA to develop a Federal Fuels List and to limit local gasoline blends to those on the list. (For details, see CRS Report RL31361, “Boutique Fuels” and Reformulated Gasoline: Harmonization of Fuel Standards, by Brent D. Yacobucci.) Other boutique fuels legislation has also been proposed. CRS-8 IB10134 06-02-06 Windfall Profits Tax. Several bills introduced would impose taxes on oil companies in light of record profits recorded as a result of the crude and gasoline price run-up. The context of the proposals lies in the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act (P.L. 96-223) of 1980, as part of a compromise between the Carter Administration and the Congress over the decontrol of crude oil prices. (For details, see CRS Report RL33305, The Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax of the 1980s: Implications for Current Energy Policy, by Salvatore Lazzari.) Mid- to Long-Term Supply and Demand. Most proposals affecting supply and demand of crude oil and gasoline would not affect the current short-term crisis but would be aimed at longer term trends. CAFE. Automobile fuel economy standards also have a long history of controversy, going back to their establishment in the 1970s. In the mid-1990s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was considering a rulemaking that would result in increased standards for light-duty trucks (including sport utility vehicles), but for several years, Congress included in its annual appropriation for NHTSA a measure prohibiting NHTSA from analyzing or undertaking such a ruling. That prohibition was dropped in the FY2004 NHTSA appropriations, and a final rule issued by NHTSA in April 2003 requires a boost in light-truck fuel economy to 22.2 miles per gallon by model year 2007. In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration proposed new fuel economy standards for light trucks, to take effect in the 2008 model year. During House floor debate on P.L. 109-58, an amendment to increase fuel economy standards to 33 miles per gallon over 10 years was defeated by a vote of 177-254. A more general amendment to the House bill, requiring the Administration to take “voluntary, regulatory, and other actions” to reduce oil demand in the United States by 1 million barrels per day from projected levels by 2013 was defeated 166-262. The measure was included in the bill passed by the Senate, but was dropped in conference. Continued high gasoline prices have raised congressional interest in higher mandated CAFE standards again. Among the proposals is H.R. 3762, which would require average fuel economy of 33 miles per gallon by 2016. Other proposals would give NHTSA authority to raise standards above the present level and would change the vehicle classifications to one based on weight. On May 10, the House Energy and Commerce Committee ordered reported a bill that would authorize the Secretary of Transportation to set fuel economy standards for passenger automobiles based on one or more vehicle attributes. ANWR. Oil and gas exploration and development of part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) have been controversial for many years. This was part of the early proposals for legislation that eventually became the Energy Policy Act of 1992, but was dropped in the face of strong opposition in both houses. Support for action grew gradually through the decade, along with technological developments that advocates claimed would reduce the environmental impact of development; the House included a development measure in its version of an omnibus energy bill in August 2001. A similar measure was part of the House-passed legislation in the 108th Congress. Opposition in the Senate kept the measure from the floor, however, and it was dropped in conference. CRS-9 IB10134 06-02-06 In the 109th Congress, Senate supporters of ANWR development moved the issue to the budget process, where it can be approved by a simple majority vote. On March 9, 2005, the Senate Budget Committee issued a FY2006 budget resolution that assumes $2.4 billion of revenue over five years from leases in ANWR. On March 16 the Senate rejected an amendment by Senator Cantwell to strike the ANWR provisions, by a vote of 49-51. The next day the Senate passed the budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 18). The measure was included in the package of provisions for the budget reconciliation bill approved by both the Senate Energy Committee and the House Resources Committee. However, the House leadership removed the ANWR provisions from its reconciliation bill (H.R. 4241) before it was passed on November 18 by a vote of 217-215. Despite the failure of the ANWR provision, the Administration’s FY2007 budget request for the Department of the Interior, submitted February 6, assumes that $8 billion can be raised in 2008 through leasing of oil and gas resources in ANWR. Savings Goals. A number of legislative proposals would set goals for reducing oil consumption. An example is the Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006 (S. 2747), introduced by Senator Bingaman May 4, 2006, which would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to develop an action plan to save 2.5 mbd in 2016, 7 mbd in 2026, and 10 mbd in 2031. OCS Leasing. The moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), except in the central and western Gulf of Mexico and some parts of Alaska, was subject to much controversy during consideration of P.L. 109-58. A proposal to allow states to voluntarily opt out of the moratorium was dropped under threat of filibuster, and even a measure to order the Department of the Interior to perform an inventory of OCS resources barely survived the debate. Following the disruption of production by Katrina, momentum to lift the moratorium increased, and some supporters suggested it might be included in the budget reconciliation process. The House Resources Committee on September 28 marked up a bill that would have given states the option of allowing drilling for petroleum and natural gas. In approving the bill, the committee adopted an amendment that would lift the moratoriums on drilling the OCS for natural gas completely. In the face of opposition to the natural gas provision, Representative Pombo, Chairman of the Resources Committee, decided not to bring the bill to the floor as planned. On October 26, the Resources Committee, as part of its package of measures for the budget reconciliation bill, included provisions that would make statutory the current presidential moratorium on OCS leasing until 2012 but would allow individual states to opt out of the moratorium and would allow states close to 50% of the royalties from oil and gas production that resulted. It would also give states the option to extend the moratorium after 2012. However, the provision was removed from the bill (H.R. 4241) before it was passed on November 18 by a vote of 217-215. On May 10, 2006, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment voted to lift the congressional suspension of natural gas leasing for much of the OCS. The legislation, if approved, would leave in place the presidential moratorium on the same region, which operates until 2012. CRS-10 IB10134 06-02-06 Refinery Revitalization. P.L. 109-58 contained some provisions to encourage construction of new oil refineries, but the destruction to refining facilities caused by Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico area led to calls for further measures. On September 28, 2005, the House Energy and Commerce Committee reported out H.R. 3893, the Gasoline for America’s Security Act of 2005, and the House passed the bill October 7 by a vote of 212210. Among other measures, the bill would provide for presidential designation of potential refinery sites on federal lands and military bases that are closing, and set up a process for coordinating authorization and related environmental reviews for construction of new refineries, to be led by the Department of Energy. It would centralize judicial review of the process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The bill as reported would also have amended the Clean Air Act regarding provisions for New Source Review for refineries and other facilities, but the measure was dropped before being brought to the House floor. (For details, see CRS Report RS21608, Clean Air and New Source Review: Defining Routine Maintenance, by Larry Parker.) The bill also contains measures concerning boutique fuels (see above). A similar bill was introduced in the Senate September 26, as the Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement and Community Empowerment Act, S. 1772, but the bill was rejected October 26 by the Environment and Public Works Committee by a vote of 9-9. On May 3, 2006, the House brought up under suspension of the rules the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act (H.R. 5254), but the 237-188 vote was less than the two-thirds approval required under suspension. The bill, which would require the President to appoint a “federal coordinator” to organize the permitting of new refineries, is expected to come to the floor under regular rules the week of June 8. Presidential Proposals: The Advanced Energy Initiative. In his January 31 State of the Union message, President Bush set the goal of breaking the U.S. “addiction to foreign oil” and of “replacing” more than 75% of oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. In specifying the Middle East as the source, the proposal differed from provisions considered in the previous year to set a goal of reducing total imports. The main thrust of the presidential initiative is to increase funding for research in producing ethanol from plant fiber biomass (rather than from corn), for improved batteries for hybrid automobiles, and for hydrogen fuels. At the same time, the budget request for FY2007 for DOE, which includes these increases, would eliminate programs for oil and gas research. CRS-11 IB10134 06-02-06 LEGISLATION 109th Congress P.L. 109-58, H.R. 6 Energy Policy Act of 2005. Introduced April 18, 2005. Passed by the House April 21, 2005 (249-183). Passed the Senate June 28. Reported out of conference July 26 and passed by both houses July 28 and July 29. Signed into law August 8, 2005. H.R. 3893 (Barton) The Gasoline for America’s Security Act of 2005. Introduced September 26, 2005. Reported out by the House Energy and Commerce Committee September 28. Passed by the House October 7 by a vote of 212-210. H.R. 5253 (Barton) The Federal Energy Price Protection Act of 2006. Passed by the House May 3, 2006, under suspension of the rules by a vote of 389-34. H.R. 5254 (Barton) The Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act of 2006. Rejected by the House under Suspension of the Rules May 3, 2006, by a vote of 237 yeas to 188 nays. H.R. 3762 (Boehlert) To require higher standards of automobile fuel efficiency in order to reduce the amount of oil used for fuel by automobiles in the United States by 10% beginning in 2016, and for other purposes. S. 1772 (Inhofe) The Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement and Community Empowerment Act. Introduced September 26, 2005. Rejected by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee October 26 by a vote of 9-9. S. 555 (DeWine) The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartel (NOPEC) Act of 2005. Introduced March 8, 2005. Adopted by voice vote as an amendment to H.R. 6 in the Senate, June 21. Not included in the final version of H.R. 6. S. 2747 (Bingaman) The Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006. Introduced May 4, 2006. S. 2748 (Bingaman) The Enhanced Energy Security Tax Incentives Act of 2006. Introduced May 4, 2006. CRS-12 IB10134 06-02-06 FOR ADDITIONAL READING CRS Issue Briefs CRS Issue Brief IB10136, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress, by M. Lynne Corn, Bernard A. Gelb, and Pamela Baldwin. CRS Issue Brief IB10054, Energy Tax Policy, by Salvatore Lazzari. CRS Reports CRS Report RL31361, “Boutique Fuels” and Reformulated Gasoline: Harmonization of Fuel Standards, by Brent D. Yacobucci. CRS Report RS21608, Clean Air and New Source Reviews: Defining Routine Maintenance, by Larry Parker. CRS Report RS22233, Oil and Gas: Supply Issues After Katrina, by Robert L. Bamberger and Lawrence Kumins. CRS Report RL33021, Oil Industry Profits: Analysis of Recent Performance, by Robert Pirog. CRS Report RL32248, Petroleum Refining: Economic Performance and Challenges for the Future, by Robert L. Pirog. CRS Report RS22236, Price Increases in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: Authority to Limit Price Gouging, by Angie A. Welborn and Aaron M. Flynn. CRS-13