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Democrat Criticizes Energy Bill Passed in the House

A Democratic Party lawmaker says the energy bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives fails to promote fuel efficiency and will increase energy costs.

Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts says the House bill also fails to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.

In the Democrats' weekly radio address, Mr. Markey said the bill gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil firms, and frees them from liability connected to some cases of water contamination. He also criticized what he called desperate oil drilling schemes that ruin wildlife and wilderness areas.

The bill, which passed Thursday by a vote of 249 - 183, allows an Alaskan wildlife refuge to be opened for oil drilling - a proposal that environmentalists have condemned.

Republicans say the energy plan will help expand domestic energy production and promote conservation.

Some information for this report provided by AP.