Reid releases watered down energy bill, Obama says it’s a ‘first step’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday released a summary of the draft energy bill that Democrats hope to pass in the next week or so. You can read the full summary here.

It’s unclear whether Reid, a Nevada Democrat, will be able to get both the small business lending bill and the energy bill passed in time to turn to a vote on confirming Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan next week.

But the bill falls far short of what environmentalists and the climate lobby had at one time hoped for. Reid and President Obama were both at pains today to stress that the bill is only the beginning for them of working on energy and climate legislation.

“I want to emphasize it’s only the first step. And I intend to keep pushing for broader reform, including climate legislation,” Obama said Tuesday in the Rose Garden.

“This bill does not address every issue of importance to our nation’s energy challenges, and we have to continue to work to find bipartisan agreement on a comprehensive bill to help reduce pollution and deal with the very real threat that global warming poses,” Reid said. “But this is a good bill that deserves bipartisan support, and continues us along the path toward a clean energy future.”

Here is a brief summary of the main facets of the bill, from the intro to the summary:

The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Accountability Act would ensure that BP pays to clean up its mess. Second, it would invest in Home Star, a bipartisan energy efficiency program that lowers consumers’ energy costs and create jobs. Third, it would protect the environment by investing in the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Fourth, it would reduce our dependence on oil by making investments in vehicles that run on electricity and natural gas. Finally, it would increase the amount that oil companies are required to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, of Tennessee, had some complaints about the substance of the bill but focused his harshest criticism on Reid, saying he was not giving enough time to debate the bill and that the majority leader would not allow any Republican amendments to be offered.

“Last minute, written in secret, little debate, and no amendments on a bill that addresses a big issue. That sounds a lot like what happened at Christmas with the health care bill,” Alexander said.

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  • libertyatstake

    Memo to GOP: The Progressives get NOTHING on “energy.” The farce will soon be over.

    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  • ImpressedByHonesty

    Watered down is good. Now we can keep funding Islamic fundamentalists thru the pump at the corner, rather than American workers at an electric plant.

    • billbrady

      I don’t think Bammer intends to allow many new generating stations, coal, nuke, hydro, or otherwise. In fact, I recall during the campaign he told the coal fired generation industry he wouldn’t outright ban coal fired facilities and they could build as many as they want but he promised to tax them out of existence. That should do wonders for coal mining states and stimulate thousands of jobs at all the new coal fired plants, if anyone in the industry is dumb enough to build one knowing what the President promised to do.

      All of this to save the planet from the farce known as human caused global warming at taxpayer expense through billion upon billion of subsidies to build electric cars and solar and wind farms that can’t pay for themselves.

  • recovered dem

    I wouldn’t trust anything introduced by that underhanded corrupt lying Reid!!

  • recovered dem

    Why Obama is determined to pass cap and trade:

    While on the board of a Chicago-based charity years ago, Obama helped fund a carbon trading exchange (CCX, privately owned) that would have played a critical role in the cap and trade carbon reduction Obama has been trying to have Reid force through the senate and into law.

    There is a long relationship among Obama, Soros, Gore, Goldman Sachs, Raines (Fannie Mae head) CCX and GIM (a London based company founded by Gore). CCX is influenced by Gore and Raines and the two have made huge sums of money on “global warming.” CCX is full of cronyism and research has found that had cap and trade passed CCX would be a $10 Trillion a year money maker; a ponzi scam to filk taxpayers out of trillions of dollars and make Obama’s rich friends even richer. But it willl hurt struggliing American families with $1700 a year in additional taxes.

    Kerry and Lieberman sponsored cap and trade, and Harry Reid is determined to get it passed eventually, even during a lame duck session of congress. Will they also be making a lot of money as has been suggested by a number of people? Is that why they are really determined to pass it?

    • designerrant

      I think you are on the correct path. I heard about CCX in a while ago. I believe we just follow the trail to the money.

      The thing about carbon credits, is that is just selling a whole lot of nothing – just like wall street and the housing market have done. All it does is wreak havoc with the economy.

      These political elites really have disdain for the middle class and poor of America. As long as they get theirs, they don’t care.

      Glad you recovered! :)

  • billbrady

    “It’s only a first step”. Translation: Don’t worry. Let’s just pass this monstrosity now and we’ll fix it later. Typical strategy for Bammer and his socialist minions.