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Posts Tagged ‘Energy Bill’

After Financial Reform, Energy Moves Up as Next Major Agenda Item

June 4, 2010 1 comment

With the achievement of financial regulatory reform virtually finished in the Senate, the Senate will now move on to energy as the next big agenda item.  Senate Majority Leader Reid said he wants committee work done on the energy bill before the July 4th recess with floor time for the bill soon after.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) alerted Senate committee chairmen Thursday that he plans to move comprehensive energy legislation in July.

Reid asked the chairmen to recommend legislation to deal with the Gulf oil spill before July 4 so that leaders can include those ideas in the comprehensive energy package.

The BP Gulf Oil Disaster should be seen as a “rock bottom” moment for a nation addicted to oil.  Hopefully, this incident will provide the impetus to pass an energy bill that will move the US to a renewable energy future including a renewable energy supply, a reduction in America’s carbon emmisions, a major push for public transit in all metro areas, and incentives for cleaner cars.  The energy bill will also provide much needed jobs as we transition from a fossil fuel to renewable energy based nation.  Democrats and Republicans should work together to make this future happen.

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So What Could be Next? The Climate Bill

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The prospects of a far reaching climate bill took a hit when moderate to conservative Senate Democrats are pushing to hold off on a climate bill in favor of a jobs bill.

At a meeting about health care last month, moderates pushed to table climate legislation in favor of a jobs bill that would be an easier sell during the 2010 elections, according to Senate Democratic aides.

“I’d just as soon see that set aside until we work through the economy,” said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). “What we don’t want to do is have anything get in the way of working to resolve the problems with the economy.”

A smaller energy bill that would include energy efficiency initiatives could take cap and trade’s place if it is indeed postponed for the time being.  Then again, Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. Collins (R-ME) did introduce a “cap and dividend” bill that could serve as a basis for a new bipartisan bill.  The main problem is still over the skittishness of coal state Democrats like Sen. Byrd and Sen. Rockefeller of West Virginia and those Democrats who come from states extremely dependent on fossil fuel power e.g. Sen. Bayh of Indiana.

If cap and trade is postponed this year, either this agenda item is off the table, a smaller energy bill will be discussed in its stead, or elements of the climate bill could be absorbed into the jobs bill.