After the August break, the House will take up a multipronged energy bill that would allow oil drilling in some offshore areas, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Aug. 16. She said it also would direct the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and ensure utilities get a specified share of their electricity from renewable sources.

After meeting with a business coalition on energy issues on Aug. 12, President Bush urged Pelosi to schedule a vote on a “clean” offshore-oil bill devoid of “legislative poison pills.” Attendees at the meeting included officials of the Associated Builders and Contractors and Associated General Contractors. AGC said rising petroleum prices were “causing significant pain in the industry,” says CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.