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Democrats push subsidies for alternative energy

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Minn)
MPR photo/Tom Weber

Senate Democrats in Washington will push an energy bill today that would limit oil price speculation and roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks for the oil industry. 

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and other Democrats are calling their bill the Consumer-First Energy Act. 

Senate Republicans are calling for more domestic oil production, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Democrats oppose opening ANWR for oil drilling.

Klobuchar said they would redirect energy company subsidies toward alternative energy.

"The idea here is there is there's $17 billion  that the oil companies get in tax breaks over ten years and this act would roll it back and invest these taxpayer dollars to improve the renewable energy and put it in energy efficiency," Klobuchar said.

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman says he remains opposed to drilling in ANWR. Coleman is proposing increased off-shore drilling, grants and loans for clean energy development and increasing so-called clean coal production.

Coleman and Klobuchar both support temporarily suspending delivery of fuel to the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help bring down gas prices.