Introducing the Senate's Pathetic New "Energy" Bill
Okay, so I've been up in arms about the official demise of the climate bill in the Senate. I took pains to document who was responsible for killing it. But I neglected to mention amidst all the ranting that the Senate is still working on something. Something they're calling an 'energy bill', but in reality, it hardly qualifies as such. Here's the pathetic energy package that we can look forward to in lieu of a proper effort to reduce carbon emissions and stimulate a transition to cleaner energy development: Via Grist:
Basically, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid canvassed his caucus and figured out what they could pay for (without a carbon price for funding) and what already had 60 votes. This is it:And here, climate writer Dave Roberts has some thoughts on this new energy package: "Home Star is good, but as an energy bill? This is f*cking pathetic. It's little better than what the Republican Congress produced under George Bush."
* Some response to the Gulf oil spill, in the form of tighter restrictions on offshore drilling.
* Some pork for natural gas vehicles. (T-Boone gets his money.)
* Home Star.
* Some money for land and water conservation. (Baucus demanded $5 billion for this, leaving other, much more worthy clean energy programs begging.)
Lest you think he's being hyperbolic, consider the following -- there is literally nothing included in this energy package that encourages clean energy development. No Renewable Energy Standard, that would have mandated utilities generate a specified amount of their power from renewable sources. No energy efficiency standards. No nothing.
In short, calling it pathetic is probably generous.