Real Energy Reform Runs Out of Steam
The Senate energy bill passed last evening with the overwhelming support of 88 Senators. This is disappointing for a number of reasons. The Senate version does nothing to increase domestic energy production, but does contain provisions that would make appliances (efficiency mandates) and gasoline (ethanol mandates) more expensive. While the House energy bill, passed last year, attempts to make greater amount of affordable energy available to consumers, its Senate counterpart seems content to do nothing grander than continue subsidies for the same inefficient alternate fuels.
The Post this morning emphasizes how far apart the two sides will be when the two bills come to conference committee. House conferees will fight to have Arctic drilling in the final bill, but that seems unlikely. I have even less hope that Bush will end up brushing the cobwebs away from the Veto stamp, as he should.