Support Remains to Do Something on EnergyFri, 23 Jul 2010 17:38:36 CDT
Senate leaders recognize they don't have the votes to pass climate change legislation with a carbon cap or renewable electricity standard before the August recess and so the hope of passing a comprehensive energy bill this summer is gone. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does intend to act on energy. The items likely to find their way into the new bipartisan, energy-only measure will be popular ones supported by Senators on both sides of the aisle. Those items would include ways to address the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and relatively non-contentious energy initiatives - such as promotion of home energy efficiency and vehicles powered by natural gas. Reid says this isn't the only energy legislation the Senate will do - but is what they can do now. He notes lawmakers are running out of time. Senate Democrats hope to find GOP support for the bill and pass it in the next two weeks.
President Obama says he will intensify efforts to find votes for climate legislation. But several Democrats - including Mark Pryor of Arkansas - note that past energy bills typically consumed three to six weeks of floor time. He says that kind of time just doesn't exist this year.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis is hopeful the Senate takes this opportunity to add measures to reduce the nation's addiction to foreign oil. He says Growth Energy urges the Leader and his fellow Senators to include measures to build out the infrastructure for greater use of home-grown ethanol. He notes ethanol is America's fuel - grown by America's farmers and produced by American workers - it is the only viable alternative we have today to imported oil.
Speaking of Growth Energy the National Sorghum Producers want policymakers to evaluate the group's Freedom Fueling Plan - which outlines the process of redirecting a portion of the ethanol tax incentives to build out a critically needed renewable fuels infrastructure. NSP encourages Congress and the ethanol industry to develop a plan that provides stable policies - yet looks at the long-term needs of the industry.
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