Members of the US House and Senate are working to resolve differences between their respective energy bills in order to produce legislation ready for executive branch approval in August.

While a number of issues are still to be resolved, the final language for seven sections of the bill, including nuclear energy, energy efficiency, hydrogen and coal has already been agreed.

The nuclear power title takes much of the Senate’s Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project, which will use a generation IV reactor to produce both power and hydrogen. Construction of the project is expected to be complete by the end of September 2021. Authorised appropriations for the project includes $1.25 billion for 2006 through to 2015 and “such sums as are necessary for each of the fiscal years 2016 through 2021.”

The draft language for the coal title calls for 70% of the proposed $1.8 billion Clean Coal Power Initiative to go on gasification with the remaining 30% going on other clean coal technology.

The hydrogen title, meanwhile, outlines goals for creating a hydrogen market for vehicle, utility, commercial and residential applications by 2020, including $3.3 billion in appropriations to cover hydrogen supply, fuel cell technology, demonstration, codes and standards.

The electricity title is also complete though the issue of whether to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority over mergers where utilities buy generation is still to be resolved. Other contentious issues still to be settled include the renewable portfolio standard, and fuel additive MTBE.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) wants MTBE producers to agree to foot part of the multibillion dollar clean up bill for groundwater pollution from the additive, considered a requirement for getting final passage of an energy bill that gives MTBE producers protection from product liability claims. Senate Republicans rejected the 2003 energy bill over the MTBE issue.

On renewable portfolio standards, which require utilities to source 10% of their electricity from renewable sources, House lawmakers would prefer to institute a “clean energy” standard, which includes increased use of advanced-technology coal and nuclear power plants.

The Senate bill would cost roughly $18 billion as opposed to the House bill’s $8 billion over the next decade. The Senate directs its incentives towards producers of renewable and nuclear power while the House supports traditional oil and gas.