The signature of President George Bush on the comprehensive US energy bill has brought to a close four years of wrangling over the bill.

The conclusion to the bill’s passage into law came as the US faces record crude prices that are pushing $65 a barrel. The $12.3 billion worth of handouts in the bill are designed to increase domestic energy supplies, including nuclear, clean coal and renewables, over the next decade and are double White House expectations. Even so, Bush warned: “This bill is not going to solve our energy challenges overnight.”

The measure includes tax breaks and loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants, clean coal technology and extends by two years the production tax credit that favours wind and other renewables.

Beginning in 2007, the measure extends daylight-saving time by one month to save energy and repeals the PUCHA legislation covering utility mergers.

However, the legislation steered clear of numerous controversial issues and does not include opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration and a renewable portfolio standard that would require utilities to source a certain proportion of their energy requirements from renewable energy.