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The Watered-Down Approach to the American Power Act

07/09/2010

One would think that with an oil well uncontrollably gushing in the middle of the Gulf  that it might be time  to seriously consider legislation that spurs private investment  in additional forms of energy that diminishes dependence on fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. Seems like common sense, doesn’t it?

The fate of comprehensive energy and climate legislation hangs in the balance as our Senators vacation. A bill containing an economy-wide cap-and-trade program is unlikely to receive the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate.

Support is growing for a watered-down bill that only regulates electric utilities which may be more palatable to moderate Democrats and Republicans – but probably will not have the economic and energy impact this Country desperately needs. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) recently endorsed the approach, although utilities have yet to do the same.

Whatever form energy legislation takes, it faces stiff competition for time on the Senate floor. While Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) has indicated that the Senate will work during September, it is unlikely that energy legislation will be considered if not passed before the Senate goes on August recess. When the Senate passed energy reform most recently in 2007, the legislation required 10 days of floor time—20 working days remain.

More news and information on the APA:

NYTimes: Senator Snowe Is Working Quietly to Find ‘Consensus’ on Capping Utility Emissions

Washington Post: Senators predict a climate bill capping emissions only for utilities

Politico.com: Climate forecast hazy as Senators look for direction

The Hill:  Waxman to push carbon limits in conference if Senate falls short

NYTimes:  Obama Gives $2 Billion to Solar Plants

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