The New York Times has an editorial on the energy bill to be debated this week (HR 3221): An Incomplete Energy Bill.
The House will begin debating Friday on a generally useful energy bill that would increase energy efficiency, encourage more responsible oil and gas development on public lands and stimulate investment in cleaner fuels. Yet the bill is incomplete. If it truly hopes to address the problems of global warming and energy independence, three vital issues need to be addressed.The three missing components:
- CAFE Standard (Markey-Platts, HR 1506)
- Renewable Energy Standard (Udall, HR 969)
- Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
This is also the Union of Concerned Scientists platform.
Rep. Dingell, meanwhile, wrote an op-end on the carbon tax: The Power in the Carbon Tax. It’s a critical insight into the thinking of perhaps the most influential person in Congress in shaping global warming policy.
I apparently created a mini-storm last month when I observed publicly for at least the sixth time since February that some form of carbon emissions fee or tax (including a gasoline tax) would be the most effective way to curb carbon emissions and make alternatives economically viable. I said, as I have on many occasions, that we would have to go to some kind of cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.
- the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 (HR 2776) from the Ways and Means Committee, reported out at the end of June
- and the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act (HR 3221), which needs to be signed off by the relevant committees
HR 2776 provides tax incentives for renewable electricity production, biofuels, efficient appliances, plug-in hybrids, and renewable energy bonds. It pays for these incentives buy reducing oil and gas royalties and closing the “Hummer” tax loophole.HR 3221 is a wide-ranging omnibus, under the jurisdiction of the following committees:
- Education and Labor (Title I: green jobs)
- Foreign Affairs (Title II: foreign assistance and trade)
- Small Business (Title III: small business sustainability initiative)
- Science and Technology (Title IV: research funding—HR 364, HR 906, HR 1933, HR 2773, HR 2774, HR 2304, HR 2313)
- Agriculture (Title V: biofuels)
- Oversight and Government Reform (Title VI: carbon-neutral government)
- Natural Resources (Title VII: Energy Policy Act of 2005 reforms, changes in oil and gas royalties, wind energy, CCS, wildlife, oceans)
- Transportation and Infrastructure (Title VIII: public transportation, highways, shipping, public buildings)
- Energy and Commerce (Title IX: appliance, lighting, and building efficiency, smart grid, renewable fuel infrastructure, plug-in hybrids)
- Armed Services (it’s unclear which components are under its jurisdiction)
After the amendment process and ratification, the package will then go into conference to be reconciled with the Senate energy bill, SA 1502, passed mid-June.
Crossposted at Daily Kos.
Last week I diaried on the key battles in the Senate energy bill, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007 (SA 1502):
- No on Coal-to-Liquid
- No on restricting EPA or state regulation of motor vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases
- No on diluting definition of biofuels
- No on changing “renewable” to “alternative” in legislation
- No on offshore drilling
- Yes on strong CAFE standards (no on weakening further)
- Yes on price-gouging regulation (the right-wingers are fighting this hard)
- Yes on national Renewable Portfolio Standard of 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020 (if we’re lucky, we’ll get legislation for 15% by 2020)
- Yes on incentives for distributed generation (aka cogeneration, net metering, electranet) at the commercial and residential level
- Yes on support for energy efficiency, especially
- Yes on funding of The Weatherization Assistance Program
- Yes on funding renewable energy by removing some oil subsidies
So what were the results?
Here are the issues:
|No on Coal-to-Liquid||(Tester amdt. S.AMDT.1614 rejected 33-61, Bunning amdt. S.AMDT 1628 rejected 39-55)|
|No on restricting EPA or state regulation of motor vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases|
|No on diluting definition of biofuels||(Kyl amdt. S.AMDT.1800 rejected 45-49)|
|No on changing “renewable” to “alternative” in legislation|
|No on offshore drilling|
|Yes on strong CAFE standards (no on weakening further)||(Pryor-Bond-Levin-Stabenow amdt. S.AMDT. 1711 not considered)|
|Yes on price-gouging regulation (the right-wingers are fighting this hard)||(Title VI of S.AMDT.1502)|
|Yes on national Renewable Portfolio Standard of 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020||(Bingaman amdt. S.AMDT.1537 withdrawn under filibuster threat)|
|Yes on incentives for distributed generation (aka cogeneration, net metering, electranet) at the commercial and residential level||(issue held for next round of energy legislation)|
|Yes on major increase in funding of The Weatherization Assistance Program (which Bush is trying to slash)||(Title II, Subtitle F of S.AMDT.1502)|
|Yes on funding renewable energy by removing some subsidies to oil industry||(Baucus amdt. S.AMDT.1704 filibustered 57-36)|
- while the CAFE standards are being increased, they are certainly not aggressive increases. Still, a lot better than the zero action the Bush administration and auto industry wanted.
- the increase to the Weatherization Assistance program is about 7%, instead of the 25% increase which would have had optimal results. Still, a lot better than the zeroing out that Bush wanted.