Congress Nears Conference on Energy Bill 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 22 Oct 2007 22:12:00 GMT

From CQ:

After negotiations with key Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday he was prepared to seek a conference with the House on energy policy legislation.

“The Speaker wants to go to conference. I want to go to conference,” Reid, D-Nev., said on the floor Friday. “We know we can’t do a bill unless we include the Republicans in it.”

The unanimous consent to move to conference was blocked on a procedural basis by John Cornyn, R-Texas, Friday afternoon because many senators were traveling, but no objections were expected this week.

That said, the battle over CAFE standards remains strong, with the auto industry lobbying hard for the weaker Hill-Terry language (HR 2927). Last week GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner met with Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council, Nicole Nason, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and EPA officials, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally is expected in DC this week.

Meanwhile, the natural gas industry is calling for expanded drilling:
The American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and seven other trade associations representing natural gas producers, pipelines, and consumers jointly expressed strong concern Oct. 19 about US House energy legislation that they believe would reduce instead of increase domestic gas supplies. . . . The 2005 Energy Policy Act contains several provisions to encourage production in frontier areas, including ultradeep water, ultradeep gas, and offshore Alaska, which HR 3221 seeks to repeal, they said.

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  1. Lorna Li Tue, 23 Oct 2007 05:45:18 GMT

    The auto industry is spending $ millions on advertising campaigns aimed at swaying the general public why a 35 mpg fuel efficiency standard should not be adopted in the new Energy Bill. Imagine if they would spend all that money on innovation.

    Refusal to raise fuel efficiency is simply buying time so a few corp execs, shareholders and politicians can benefit in the short run, at the expense of the American people.

    The 35 mpg CAFE standard can actually save American consumers $25 billion in gas costs and significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which creates terrible conflict and suffering in the Middle East. Eventually, the U.S. auto-industry will have to downsize and do massive layoffs, as fuel prices increase, and fewer people will want to buy American cars.

    If you support a strong, clean Energy Bill, now is a critical time to make your opinions known to Congress by signing this petition.

    Pass it on!

    Energy Bill 2007

    Lorna Li | Green 2.0