The Other Energy Bill

The whole climate/energy issue is getting strikingly little attention lately, and what attention it has gotten from the left has tended to focus on the imperfections in the Waxman-Markey bill or the depredations of secessionist Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson. But lurking in CAP/AF Supreme Leader John Podesta’s new statement urging progressives to push for House approval of Waxman-Markey is the observation that there’s probably a bigger problem to worry about:

Passing this bill is the first arduous step toward energy transformation. Senate passage of similar legislation will be more difficult, and the Senate Energy Committee is off to an inauspicious beginning by passing an energy bill that would do little to boost investments in renewable electricity. The bill would allow oil drilling in an area only 45 miles off the Florida Gulf Coast and worsen global warming by lifting the prohibition against the federal government purchase of oil from Canadian tar sands, which produce twice as much greenhouse gas pollution as regular oil. The Senate bill is weak, toothless, and unacceptable, and it must be improved before it passes.

It’s almost never a smart idea to worry about the shortcomings of House legislation. Whatever happens, the Senate always makes it worse.