Monday, July 26, 2010

With Cap and Trade Dead, What's Left of the Energy Bill?

Obama and Gore

Before an impassioned plea from former Vice President Al Gore, the Obama Administration was reportedly ready to throw in the towel on climate legislation as early as last summer.

The White House and leading Democrats in the Senate have abandoned all efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation this year. Senate leaders are said to be drafting a pared down energy bill that would create a handful of new incentives and programs but do nothing to cap greenhouse gas emissions.

Highlights of the limited bill include $5 billion dollars for energy-saving home retrofitting incentives, $4.1 billion in compressed natural gas vehicle incentives, expanded land and water conservation measures, and new reforms aimed at fixing the Department of the Interior's shameful record on offshore drilling oversight. The legislation would also increase the cap on oil spill liability from $75 million to $10 billion.

No Mention of Electric Vehicles or Biofuels

What's more notable about the legislation is what's missing. In addition to cap and trade, there is no mention of hybrid or electric vehicle incentives, clean energy financing or renewable energy targets. Also absent is an extension of the ethanol subsidies that are scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

Both EVs and ethanol could be addressed in separate measures or could be folded into the bill at a later date. The Promoting Electric Vehicles Act of 2010�which would allocate $6 billion for plug-in cars�was passed out of committee last week, while the House Ways and Means Committee is considering extending ethanol subsidies, but cutting them from $0.45 to $0.36 per gallon.

read more

Read More... [Source:]

No comments: