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Senate Energy Bill Update

Work on the Senate Energy Bill continued today against the backdrop of President Bush pushing hard for the construction of new nuclear power plants.

In a series of floor votes, the Senate rejected the McCain-Lieberman Climate Change Amendment, rejected another climate change amendment from Senator Kerry, and affirmed federal primacy over states in siting LNG terminals and windmills by rejecting amendments that would have given states the final say.

The Senate resumes work on the bill tomorrow, when the PHEV amendment should be introduced.

Action on Amendments to Senate Energy Bill 22 Jun 05
Primary SponsorVote (Y-N-A)Description
McCain (R-AZ) 38–60–2 Rejected. A more rigorous climate change amendment than Hagel’s, specifying a cap (2000 levels by 2012) and credit trading system.
Kerry (D-MA) 46–49–5 Rejected. To express the sense of the Senate regarding the need for the United States to address global climate change through comprehensive and cost-effective national measures and through the negotiation of fair and binding international commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Bingaman (D-NM) 44–55–3 Active. A motion to table the Bingaman climate change amendment to express the sense of the Senate that that Congress should enact a comprehensive national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such GHG emissions to counter climate change was defeated.
Feinstein (D-CA) 52–45–3 Tabled. The vote was in favoring of tabling Feinstein’s amendment that would have given state governors the approval/veto power over the siting of LNG terminals in their states. (I.e., the Federal Government decides where the LNG terminals will go, overriding objections from the states.)
Alexander (R-TN) 32–63–5 Rejected. To provide for local control for the sitting of windmills.
Byrd (D-WV) Voice approval Accepted. To provide tax breaks for rural carpools.




It was very enlightening to read your post. Well done. Thanks!


Rural carpools? WTF? Anybody got details?


While I'm definitely not happy about the failure to add hard GHG limits, I'm delighted to see that the wind turbine siting bill was defeated. That would have greatly restricted where turbines could have been placed. We need to keep those options open.

I wonder if/when the additional bill(s) that want to provide P-HEV rebates (manufacturers and consumers) will get into the mix. That would be a windfall for Toyota, but more importantly it would kick off the transition to mainstream, electric personal transportation in the U.S.


Great summary but you skipped the Bingaman "sense of the Senate" amendment that puts the Senate on record as saying it agrees that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to global warming. It avoided being tabled and was approved by voice vote. Not the strongest of amendments but movement in the right direction.


Lou, the PHEV bill is supposed to be introduced today.

TC, you’re right...I'll add that into the chart (for posterity) :-)

Stomv, the “rural car pool” benefit amends the IRS code to allow a non-taxable monthly “fringe benefit” of up to $50 per month for a driver who resides in a “rural area&ldquo as defined by the Census Bureau, drives between home and work, and has one or more other employees of the same employer in the car for at least 75% of the total mileage. Offsetting the increasing price of gas.


Leave it to good ol' Byrd to add ammendments that (i) throw pork to WV, (ii) have somewhat-liberal ideals, and (iii) generally complicate things more than necessary.

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