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Senators Propose $100 Rebate to Offset Gas Prices; $2.9 Billion in Funding for Cellulosic Biofuels, Batteries and Plug-ins

Senate Energy Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) introduced the “Gas Price Relief and Rebate Act of 2006,” filed as one of the 140 Senate amendments to H.R. 4939, the Supplemental Appropriations bill.

The amendment, co-sponsored by Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Charles Grassley (R-IA, and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee), would provide a $100 rebate to each taxpayer to offset the increased price of gasoline.

Other transportation-related amendments to the bill include:

  • An anti price-gouging measure that makes it unlawful to increase the price of gasoline or diesel “by an unconscionable amount” within an area covered by an emergency proclamation while the proclamation is in effect. The President may issue the emergency proclamation for any area within the US, and the chief executive officer of any State may issue an emergency proclamation for any such area within that State;

  • Repealing the limitations on the number of hybrid and diesel vehicles eligible for tax rebates;

  • Authorizing the DOT to reform the fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles (earlier post);

  • Increasing the production incentives for cellulosic biofuels from the $250 million specified in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to a total of $1.1 billion from fiscal year 2007 through fiscal year 2011.

  • Providing $1.8 billion in funding from fiscal 2007 through fiscal 2012 ($300 million each year) to accelerate development and commercialization of battery and electric drivetrain technologies for hybrids, plug-in engine hybrids and plug-in fuel-cell hybrids;

  • Suspending crude oil deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for 6 months;

  • Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up for oil and gas exploration and production.




Ah, a rebate, that'll solve the problem! (Is there no leadership anywhere?)

Joseph Willemssen

Their solution is to give us a cash advance (with interest) on our own money?

Typical maneuver - trying to bribe voters with "magic money".

Joseph Willemssen

Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up for oil and gas exploration and production.

Exactly - the true intent is always buried below the headlines.

Prius for me

More political rhetoric: $100 gas rebate is as much of a joke as opening up the ANWR. Never has a case for price gouging been settled since the FTC was founded in 1915.
These 3 Repubs are a piece of work - they're constituents must be proud.



What a joke. Talking about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Neither party is even remotely interested in changing the paradigm of how we use energy in this nation. What we need to do is transform our energy infrastructure into a 21st century one, instead of the near 19th century one we are using now.

What the heck happened to the Donkeycrats? Wasn't John Kerry touting an Apollo Program for Energy? It's one of the main reasons I voted for him. Why can't the Donks take this issue and run with it. Reducing the amount of energy we use may be the one issue that they have been consistently correct on for decades. Still, they have no ability to convince the American people of what is obviously in their own interests.

Why no one has the huevos to really fix what is wrong with the system is beyond me. Truly, this really isn't a left/right issue, but an American one.

Filled with Despair,
Cosmo (sigh)


They know damn well this bill is likely not to pass. If they are serious about alternatives, then focus on that and don't include all the crap that is sure to get the bill turned down.

What is this emergency proclamation shit?


> What is this emergency proclamation shit?

It's the end product of the modern Republican party. Free Markets rule, unless we have elections coming up.

Max Reid

USA population is around 300 million and if you exclude retirees and youngsters, the 20-60 age group may come to 180 million and if 120 million of them work and pay tax then

120,000,000 * $100 = $12,000,000,000 ($12 billion).

I dont know whether $100 is per year or per month.
If its per month, then the amount will be $96 billion.

Seems Uncle Sam is very rich.

Max Reid

Way to go

Interest article

Share among the engines
V4 - 33 % (Increasing)
V6 - 42 % (Decreasing)
V8 - 25 % (Decreasing)

Other intesting facts
crossover vehicles rose 16% the first quarter
truck- based SUVs fell 7%.

Joseph Willemssen

I just noticed the co-sponsor -- Stevens.


gerald earl

They put anwar in there to make the dems vote against it.Then they say ,the dems voted against us putting a hundred dollars in your pocket,its a cheap trick that both sides use.Repealing the limit on hybrid and diesel vehicles rebates is one good idea but it is also part of the vehicle and fuel choices for American security act.This legislation has a broad policy supporting alternatives.It has many members of both parties supporting it.I think writing our reps in the senate and house and asking them to get it reported out of commitee would be more effective than allowing them to beat each other with poison pill legislation.

tom deplume

Suppose some governor thinks gouging is happening in his/her state and declares an emergency. How could they force a company to deliver fuel to that state? Under emminent domain and due process the state would have to buy the fuel at a price determined by a long court battle then resell it at what they believe is the fair price. Ain't gonna happen.

Joe Rocker

They ought to tag a $1 a gallon tax on gas, and then send the rebate checks. Make big oil and their allies in the Middle East pay for the rebates.


Looks like it was written by professional layers:
1) government will happily spend 200$ for each 100$ distributed
2) EPA recently adopted Californian legislature severely restricting sales of passenger and light-duty diesel vehicles as high-polluting. What incentives?!
3)DOT is totally incompetent in fuel efficiency issues. The only thing they intend to do is to support weight increase of small cars to improve safety, as they already declared
4)the only cellulosic biofuel currently available is firewood. Before R&D for cellulosic ethanol will be in production phase, all insentives for experimental batches of cellulosic ethanol is waste of money
5)plug-in fuel cell hybrid is as far to reality as the authors of the bill.


I'm with Joe. Tack a $1 a gallon tax on gas and then send the rebate. That will reduce use, reduce "windfall" profits for oil companies and speed the shift to alternative vehicles/fuels.

This knee reaction by jerks is a laugh.

hampden wireless

Anyone notice the extending of the hybrid tax credit? That basically only applies to Toyota as they would 'run out' of credits first. Honda gets a little help but they would have had credits for 3/4 of the year I hear.

Harvey D.

Buying votes with $100 gas rebate is nothing but a makeshift stupid proposal to get re-elected. It would be (too little) and very counter productive. It would promote the purchase of more gas guzzlers and lead to increased oil consumption and more $billions for oil producers-refiners-distributors. Americans will not sell out that cheaply??? I hope...... but I may be wrong.

Too bad the $811 billions (or even 50% or $400 billions) being used for the Irak/Agfanistan wars could not be re-allocated to promote and accellerate the transistion to non-fossil fuel vehicles. USA would be better off very quickly and would not have to fight another Oil war.

The proper leader may not be in place. Will the next one do better? Who knows? Will enough Americans see thru this election scam and start consuming less instead of more oil.

Driving a 15 mpg gas guzzler 15000 will use 1000 gallons @ $3 = $3000 a year.

Driving a 45 mpg Hybrid or an efficent smaller vehicle for 15000 miles will use 333 gallons @ 3 = $1000 a year.

With a NET saving of $2000 a year, who would need the $100 gas rebate?

Wake up America!!!!!


I just listened to a great talk by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and Dr. Robert Hirsch, the top item on this EnergyBulletin page:

Listen to that (really), and then think about how sad these $100 and 60 day gas tax holidays really are.

Man, it's like the Dems and Repubs conspired to make both parties look like fools (and I don't use that word lightly).


The $100 rebate is old policy. Commander Bush used it to win the love and admiration of Afghans after bombing their already pitiful towns and cities into further oblivion. Bush air-dropped envelopes with a $100 bill and his photo portrait to the survivors. Similarities between then and now? Is the $100 rebate a cruel joke?

We should continue to make the point that we drive too much, too far, for too many purposes, at too high cost and impact. Alternative fuels that do nothing to change this situation should NOT be promoted as a solution.

The Plug-in Hybrid (built for fuel economy) does indeed change the situation by directing our development patterns toward the principles of New Urbanism, whereby walking, bicycling and mass transit, all far more economical modes of transport, will offer choice and strengthen local economies.

And what the hell is a fuel cell plug-in hybrid? Bunk?

Robert McLeod

A "plug-in fuel cell hybrid" is what's known as "diminishing returns". Pump as much complexity as you can into a vehicle so that it is so expensive that no one can afford it and the amoritzation time is longer than the lifetime of the universe. That way you are assured of not altering the status quo.


Joseph is about right. The actual proposal is too give us $100 of Japan's and China's money. Our government borrows it.

They should just give use $1 million each. We could all retire. But alas, even the Japanese and Chinese don't have enough to finance that.

Joseph Willemssen

At today's prices, Americans are spending about $44 billion more at the pump on an annualized basis compared to the prices in February 1999. Since that time, inflaiton exclusive of food and energy has been 17%, whereas gasoline cost inflation has been 203%.

Keep in mind that the federal gas tax has actually decreased in real dollar value since February 1999, as it was the same 18.4 cents then as it is now. And gasoline consumption was actually higher in 1999 than it was in 2005 - by about 610 million gallons.


"They ought to tag a $1 a gallon tax on gas, and then send the rebate checks. Make big oil and their allies in the Middle East pay for the rebates."

Oh that's a much better idea, raise the price of gas as a solution to high gas prices. As much as you would like to blame "big oil" the real problem is that there is no competitive alternative to gasoline. Oil companies act within the law and seek profits just like any other company, and when the price of oil goes up their profits will increase. So if you're looking to blame anyone try your local senator or representative.

As much as I agree that the $100 proposal won't do much it is still better than the solutions proposed by the anti-corporate crowd, which for the most part contains people who do not understand fundamental principles of the market like the difference between CEO salary and gains from stock options, or even exactly what a corporation is in comparison to other types of businesses and why they exist.

Prius for me

"Oh that's a much better idea, raise the price of gas as a solution to high gas prices."

dc, FYI you're on a site about sustainability. Don't forget your cronies in big oil have been receiving huge subsidies from us to add to their profits. And it's the year over year % gains in oil corp. that upset many. Those gains greatly exceed the % gains in the price of gas. Adding a $1/gal tax is in effect a windfall tax and encourages conservation and sustainable alternatives to your status quo. You must be one of them sophisticated folk who would re-elect your politician friend because he gave you $100. If we scraped together $150 would you take your financial understanding to Saudi? (the gas is even cheaper there)

Prius for me

Only an oil company could love a bill that picks the taxpayers' wallets for $12 billion in gas money. The Gas Price Relief and Rebate Act should really be called the "Guaranteed Profits for Big Oil Act!"

Remember: these are the same Senators who passed a pro-polluter energy bill last summer that refused to make America's gas-guzzlers more fuel-efficient, but instead doled out billions of tax dollars to oil and coal companies. This latest bill is just more of the same corporate welfare.

Call your Senators right now and tell them you will not surrender the Arctic Refuge or line the pockets of the oil companies with your tax dollars.

And if you want to do even more to expose and defeat this shameless bill, go to

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