Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Senate Democrats forced to accept much slimmer energy bill

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This bill is a fraction of what Graham, Kerry, and Lieberman had proposed earlier this year, which may not be a terrible development.

The funding for natural gas-powered cars, a la T. Boone Pickens, could help build energy independence, but the necessary changes in infrastructure and vehicle fleet mean this will be a slow process.

What is very disappointing about this bill is the paltry attention paid to energy efficiency, which seems such a no-brainer, and one that should transcend party politics. The $5 billion on home energy efficiency is a start, but home energy consumption pales in comparison to industrial energy or energy for transportation.

Clearly, whether or not this bill passes next week nothing more will be done before elections, but early next year could see a much larger bill drafted with much greater bipartisan efforts as Republicans cut into or even overturn the Democratic majority in Congress.

It’s still a fascinating time to be working on energy issues, even if that fascination is drawn out over months and years of political bureaucracy.

Without enough votes, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been forced to abandon a comprehensive energy bill. Gone is any tough climate provision. Will the House buy it?

By Mark Clayton, Staff writer / July 24, 2010

The US Senate late Friday was poised to move ahead with a vastly slimmed down energy bill, minus the much fought-over climate provision that would have capped carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions – in addition to boosting renewable energy.

[…]

What it apparently will include, he and others say is:

• An oil spill title based on the Senate Energy Committee’s Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act. It also includes a provision raising the liability cap for oil companies under the Oil Pollution Act – up to $10 billion from $75 million currently.

• A $5 billion home efficiency incentives package to encourage retrofits called HomeStar.

• Natural gas vehicle incentives of about $4.1 billion.

• Expanded land and water conservation.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

July 25th, 2010 at 7:54 am