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Reid to Unveil Energy Bill Sans Carbon Caps, Renewable Energy Mandates

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to introduce a watered-down energy bill today (July 26), which eliminates targets for carbon caps and mandates that would require utilities to generate some of their power from renewable energy, reports Reuters. Instead, the bill will make offshore drilling safer and convert trucks to run on domestic natural gas.

Democrats dropped efforts last week to put climate-control measures in the Senate bill as they ran out of time with the month-long recess starting August 6. Reid said Congress could revisit climate legislation in September but lawmakers and analysts told Reuters they doubt it will happen ahead of the mid-term elections in November.

The Reid bill would hold BP Plc accountable for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, help prevent similar disasters, and likely include provisions to force companies to pay more money to cover the costs of oil spills, raising the liability cap from $75 million to about $10 billion, according to Reuters.

The bill will also contain incentives to convert trucks to run on natural gas and to implement home energy-efficiency measures such as insulating attics, which may be paid for through taxes on the oil and gas industry.

Without a comprehensive climate bill, the Obama administration may use existing federal laws to reduce carbon emissions, which it wanted to avoid with the legislative bill, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon emissions, and will begin with power plants and factories in January, reports The Washington Post.

Under a compromise bill, Congress would have curbed the EPA’s authority but the president may have to use his veto to defend the EPA from congressional attempts to remove the agency’s power to regulate carbon, according to the article.

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6 thoughts on “Reid to Unveil Energy Bill Sans Carbon Caps, Renewable Energy Mandates

  1. It’s a truly disappointing turn of events for the Kerry-Lieberman bill. We went from trying to transform how this country consumes energy to now getting “just one more energy bill” passed. We at G.E.R. thought the Obama administration was — as it did for the healthcare debate — softly, but effectively pushing the bill for Senate passage (http://tinyurl.com/299762v). It turns out we were wrong. They never actually supported cap-and-trade. Ironic considering how much lip-service they’ve done on the need for the U.S. to lead the global green economy!

  2. A huge disappointment. Why won’t Mr. Reed bring the Cantwell – Collins Bill to the floor? This is a simple and effective bi-partisian approach to fighting climate change that lacks the political baggage of Cap and Trade. The risks of doing nothing are substantial and it is the duty of the congress take action and the media’s job to prod it into doing so but lamentably there is no sense of urgency commensurate with the risks we face.

  3. Isn’t it true that EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases is not as clear-cut as you represent above? I have seen many legal analyses that question if that authority exists.

  4. Democrates do not have courage to initiate alternate energy to replace fossil fuel. They are saying one thing and doing what oil companies wanted them to do. They always kiss their behind. We people have no problem with that but do not give us falls hope. China has created thousands of jobs in solar energy arena. If we do nothing then in couple of years they will be major player in solar field.

  5. There is plenty of blame to go around.

    Many Republicans are simply bought and paid for servants to their true masters, the very oil, coal, and gas corporations who turn a blind eye to everything except their own narrow economic self-interests.

    But many Democratic senators are also too beholden to special interests to act independently. They demonstrate the same inability to govern wisely, or in the best interests of the country.

  6. Maybe the EPA can get climate thing headed in the right direction. The ultimate cost of doing nothing will fall heavily on future generations. Encouraging clean energy technology and development seems like a no brainer??? reduces pollution, creates jobs and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Yes it may cost a little upfront but if we fall behind a are left playing catch up it will will end up costing a lot more.

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