Image via Energy Star
In the arena of green politics, the spotlight has been hogged by the troubled energy reform efforts in the Senate. Many are watching as the best chance to reign in carbon emissions and stimulate clean energy development on a large scale is slipping away, with Barack Obama perhaps helpless to do much about it. But another tragedy would occur if the bill that just about everybody can agree is a good idea disappears with it: the fantastic Home Star bill, which would make homes across the nation more energy efficient, and create jobs in the process. You may remember the Home Star, also known to the alliteration-obsessed as Cash for Caulkers -- it passed the House of Representatives earlier this year, and is supported by just about all the pertinent parties. Even the climate action-obstructing US Chamber of Commerce threw its support behind the bill. If passed, it would give homeowners incentives to retrofit their houses, to make them more energy efficient. The bill would save massive amounts of energy, create a multitude of jobs, and reduce emissions sans regulation.
So what's the holdup?
Dave Roberts explains what's going on over at Grist:
Homeowners are putting off retrofits, waiting to see if it will pass. Construction trades are holding off on hiring, waiting to see if it will pass. Members of the Home Star coalition now populate all 50 states and they are holding their breath, waiting.If that doesn't happen, it will probably be incorporated into what remains of the energy reform bill, which of course wouldn't bode well for its passage -- that thing is a mess. As Roberts notes, that would be a terrible move to make. Remember, everybody likes Home Star -- even conservatives who want no part of energy reform. Pushing it into a bill that's still contentious (even if wrongfully so) is beyond stupid:
Now the bill's on the knife's edge. There's been talk of including Home Star in the Small Business Jobs Bill that's pending in the Senate Finance Committee. A final decision about whether to do so will be made on Wednesday.
This bill is as close to a no-brainer as will ever grace Capitol Hill, supported by left and right and of benefit to every single Congressional district. Surely if the Senate can do anything any more, it can do this.Agreed. Home Star is as close to a home run as the Senate is capable of producing. Spread the word.
It's crunch time -- if you're the type to make noise, now's the time to make it.