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Democrat Committee Head Lays Out Energy Priorities

Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who will head the House Energy and Commerce Committee next year, said that cleaner cars powered by diesel and electricity, storing waste from U.S. nuclear reactors and probing offshore federal lease deals are top priorites for next year, Reuters reports.  

He does not plan to raise fuel-efficiency standards for U.S. automobiles. “I’m not sure that there’s any urgent needs for us to address those questions,” Dingell told CNBC in an interview.  Dingell’s home district includes Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group.

But Dingell said Congress should approve more incentives for U.S. automakers to retool cars to burn alternate fuels like ethanol and clean-burning diesel, and to make more cars that run on electricity rather than fossil fuel.

Dingell also spoke favorably of boosting electricity produced from nuclear reactors.

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