NewEnergyNews: ENERGY BILL – THE REAL FIGHT

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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, April 19:
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    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    ENERGY BILL – THE REAL FIGHT

    Remember when they start this fight: They work for you.

    Hill’s Energy Battle Has Barely Begun
    Bret Schulte, June 27, 2007 (U.S. News & World Report)

    WHO
    Karen Wayland, Natural Resources Defense Council; Lexi Schultz, lobbyist, Union of Concerned Scientists; Dan Becker, lobbyist, Sierra Club
    No end of opinions... (click to enlarge)

    WHAT
    - This report predicts the biggest fight over environment/energy issues since the Clean Air Act of 1970 is coming as early as September when “the global warming bill” (the fight to make emissions reductions mandatory) comes up.
    - Many say the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Energy Bill provision is a predictor of the mandatory emissions reduction fight. The RPS provision got 58 votes, not enough to beat a Republican filibuster.

    WHEN
    - The Senate Energy Bill fight was in mid June.
    - The mandatory emissions reductions fight is expected in the fall.

    WHERE
    The political fight will be on Capitol Hill. Global warming is…

    WHY
    - The Senate Energy Bill, passed last week, was largely a compromise (by Senate Republican Ted Stevens and Democrat Dianne Feinstein) constructed to create somewhat improved auto fuel standards. Observers predict a similar compromise will be necessary to create mandatory emissions reductions.
    - RPS did not get enough support to pass and the CAFÉ standards measure was a heavily crafted compromise so energy/environment insiders are unsure how to build support for the emissions fight.
    - Possible swing votes: Democrats Byron Dorgan and Barbara Mikulski, Republican John Sununu.
    ...but the problem's not getting solved. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    - Wayland: "What happened on [fuel efficiency standards] is what's going to have to happen with global warming legislation…That compromise was a bipartisan compromise that was pretty strong."
    - Schultz: "What passage of the bill shows is that senators are coming to understand that we need change…I think we really have moved beyond where we were a few years ago…On the flip side, I think we can't take anything for granted. This is going to have to be fought member to member, senator to senator."
    - Unnamed DC insider: "If there was any vote that prefigured the climate vote it was the [renewable electricity standard]… I'm not saying everyone who supported it would support mandatory limits on greenhouse gases, but there clearly is crossover there…Republican senators who showed a willingness to reach across the aisle to compromise on CAFE may have drawn attention to themselves…Those who are militantly opposed to climate policy also have noticed that and probably will push back vigorously in the opposite direction."
    - Becker: "Looking at how closely divided the Senate is…I think it will be tough to get a global warming bill that will live up to its name."

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