Source: Energy bill next week
By: Jeanne CummingsMay 5, 2010 07:19 PM EDT
In a high-stakes move, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are planning to forge ahead with or without Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and introduce an energy bill next week, according to sources familiar with the planning.
In addition to the uncertainty about Graham’s status on the bill, Kerry and Lieberman are gambling that the dramatic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will help, rather than hurt, momentum for the legislation.
That’s not a sure thing. As described in interviews, the reform package includes provisions that allow an expansion of offshore drilling and generous revenue sharing for coastal states that allow it. Lindsey told POLITICO those provisions were essential to his support.
Since the explosion at the BP rig began pumping millions of gallons of oil into the gulf, a host of Democratic and Republican senators have expressed skepticism if not outright opposition to the idea of expanding offshore test wells.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) threatened to filibuster the legislation. "If offshore drilling off the coast of the continental United States is part of it, this legislation is not going anywhere,” he said.
According to sources familiar with the senators’ deliberations, Kerry and Lieberman have concluded that the crisis in the gulf – which is likely to get worse before it gets better – will focus the public’s attention on the nation’s dependency on oil and facilitate the debate about reforming the energy sector. Read More
It’s irresponsible for our leaders to make reactionary decisions about the future of energy in this country based on what has happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Certainly that accident has turned into a significant mess and I don’t think anyone would deny that. However, it’s just as reckless to abandon these sources of energy when we have nothing to replace it with. To date, we can’t put sunshine or wind into the tanks of our cars. Taxing current sources of energy when there aren’t viable replacements only hurt working families in this country. But that seems to be a common theme as of late. Elitists continue to advocate for more expensive food and more expensive energy. We need to look at different energy sources as we move into the future, but common sense needs a seat at the table in these discussions.