After having to deep-six a bill that deal with climate change/Cap and Trade in the Senate, Democrats are again trying to figure out ways to figure out how to keep that effort alive.
“I intend to keep pushing for broader reform, including climate legislation, because if we’ve learned anything from the tragedy in the Gulf, it’s that our current energy policy is unsustainable,” President Obama said Tuesday at the White House, after a meeting with Congressional leaders of both parties.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was doing even more along the lines of “Keep Hope Alive” on climate change in his briefing, saying “I don’t think the bill is essentially dead for the year.”
Gibbs suggested that if the Senate approved an energy bill, it could be paired with the House Cap and Trade bill in negotiations.
Technically, that argument is sound. It could happen.
Then again, I want to win the lottery.
For now, few expect Republicans to flock to the scaled back energy bill that Democrats want to jam through the Senate in coming days, as Democrats were even having problems putting the finishing touches on their new measure on Tuesday evening.
Democrats had the bullet points ready, but not all the details, which were still being hammered out with the Congressional Budget Office.
The bill starts off with a classic kind of legislative title for this new bill, “The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Unlimited Liability Act of 2010,” which would change the laws on how oil companies have to pay for spills in the wake of the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
The bill does include a lot of other provisions, some on energy efficiency, like this one for adding energy saving measures to your home:
“A rebate of $3,000 to a homeowner for a 20% reduction in whole home energy consumption, and an additional $1,000 for each 5% reduction up to the lower of $8,000 or 50% of the total retrofit cost. Provides a rebate of $500 to a homeowner for a 20% reduction in whole home water consumption, and an additional $100 for each 5% reduction up to $1200.”
We’ll see if this bill gets finalized today – but even if it does – the chances of it being approved before the Senate goes home next week for the August break, that seems very, very slim.
Especially if anything resembling climate change is an option.