18 January 2007

Energy to Go

The new CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 is developing it's own fan club; even the most pessimistic enviros praise its long-reaching effects. In this case, CLEAN stands for "Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation" (you can see why they wanted an acronym).

What makes this particular bill interesting is the related bill H. Res. 66, put forth by James McGovern (D-MA-3) of the House Rules committee, which calls for H.R. 6 to hit the House floor for a 3-hour debate before a vote. IOW, they have bypassed the Committees on Energy & Commerce, Natural Resources, and Sci-Tech, all of which might have had claim to tie this bill up for months. Instead, the House Dems, who have a clear majority, are passing that job to the Senate.

This bill calls for a shift of $14 billion from gas & oil tax breaks to renewable, alternative, and efficient energy. Gas & oil has become the most deep-pocketed, entrenched industry lobby in D.C. In this energy bill, I see the first hard test for the now allegedly Democratic Senate: Are the new conservatives Dems, who were responsible for turning that congressional house blue, willing to put $14 billion where their mouths were last year? If it passes the Senate, Bush will likely exercise veto power, and it will depend entirely upon the margin of the Senate vote whether that veto can be overruled.

So... does the Senate have the will to change our energy future, or will the Senate Dems find a moderate perch on the slippery slope between the left and the right?

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