Energy Bill Moves Through U.S. Senate, Supported By U.S. Sen. Salazar

The Energy Reform Bill passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday by a vote of 85 to 12. The bill encourages more efficient use of energy and the development of renewable fuels. The bill could mean big things for Colorado.

U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, (D) Colorado, voted in favor of the energy bill, which he says is a win for the people of colorado. However, the version of the bill passed by the senate is quite different from the bill passed in the house.

The senate's bill added a number of provisions and is more expensive. The energy bill touches on major factors that will affect Colorado, including coal legislation and an oil shale development amendment. However, the bill will better protect the Western Slope from what happened during the 1980's oil shale bust.

Both bills also challenge existing bans on oil and gas exploration in pristine areas. The senate bill requires an inventory of oil and natural gas resources on the outer continental shelf.

The energy bill will now proceed to conference committee to iron out the differences before being voted upon a second time by both the house and the senate.

If it passes through both, it's on to the president to sign or veto.

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