Harry Reid has unveiled his weak energy bill that can muster the 60 votes to break the filibuster. Absent from it is a price on carbon, climate provisions, and a Renewable Energy Standard. Here is the 24 page summary.
Now that there aren’t some good provisions, it’s just they feel like baby steps compared to the problem we’re trying to solve. The good parts are…
1. A section on new regulations for offshore drilling to prevent another massive oil spill like the one we just had.
2. A transportation section that included $400 million for accelerating electric and plug-in vehicles, along with their infrastruction.
3. A section on Home star, which is a $5 billion dollar energy efficiency measure to help retrofit homes across the county.
4. A section on increasing the oil spill liability cap up to $5 billion dollars.
5. A section on fixing the Land and Water Conservation fund, which is good bill, but environmentalists rightly wonder what it’s doing in an energy bill.
The bad part is a title in the transportation section on incentives for natural gas vehicles, which is as laughable as the money we’ve thrown corn ethanol.
So like I said, most of this stuff is good, but none of it is bold. In fact, I’m disappointed that there aren’t more baby steps included that could add up to something significant. A few things that come to my mind is Building Star, A Green Energy Bank, and Bernie Sander’s solar bill. A big step would be a strong RES.