Keep Senate Energy Bill Intact
her the Senate nor the House has produced an energy bill that serves the national interest well. But the Senate's is less objectionable and more deserving of passage when Congress meets again in September to reconcile their differences.
The Senate bill's most worthy provision promises a vote on separate legislation that attempts to strengthen the flagging U.S. commitment to reducing carbon dioxide gases that cause global warming. The legislation, sponsored by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., would begin to align the United States with the rest of the world on global warming again, despite President Bush's abandonment of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming two years ago.
The bill also contains some useful provisions for encouraging renewable energy.
Unfortunately, the Senate missed opportunities to make the bill much better. Proposals for raising fuel mileage standards for automobiles and SUVs, protecting consumers against Enron-like transactions in electricity markets and efforts to strengthen government reviews of public utility mergers all failed. The bill neglects innovative, practical ideas that would promote greater reliance on biomass fuels and a more efficient electrical infrastructure.
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