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1997 Clean Energy Act (Bush '92)

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The 1997 Clean Energy Act was a landmark piece of legislation championed and pushed through by President Al Gore in mid-1997, as his first major piece of legislation. At its core, the legislation sought the long-term reduction of United States reliance on foreign sources of oil, a move made popular by the 1996 gas crunch. The act transferred subsidies from energy conglomerates to clean energy initiatives, tore down regulations and restrictions on clean energy research, increased US CAFE standards, and in a show of bipartisan good faith required to satisfy the energy lobby, reopened oil exploration and oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in areas previously unopen to gas exploration. Despite meeting stiff opposition from many conservatives, Gore used moderate Republicans and a majority of Democrats in both houses to pass the bill. Conservative opposition to the CEA or the "Hippie Act" is often cited as a major impetus for the 1998 Republican Revolution.

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