Yesterday, Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) introduced a "comprehensive energy bill" entitled the "Fulfilling U.S. Energy Leadership Act" or "FUEL." The bill is available for download here.
According to his press release:
As our economy continues to sputter, one little-noticed industry has been booming for a while now: energy efficiency. The sector is hiring like crazy — a fact that speaks volumes about the close relationship between clean energy and the economic recovery that we’re all waiting for. Energy efficiency could save us all.
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Reid is meeting with his Democratic caucus on Thursday to talk about what may be included in the bill. A bill is seen as key priority for the Obama Administration but a number of lawmakers say time is running out in the legislative calendar and votes are not there for a broad package.
The following are highlights of legislation
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to do all he could to contain the BP Plc oil spill and help the Gulf Coast recover.
“We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused,” Obama said in a televised address.
Obama also said he was happy to take ideas from Democrats and Republicans on broad energy legislation but said the United States could not afford to avoid changes in its energy use.
The high-stakes address to the nation is seen as an attempt to restore public confidence in his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and drive forward his ambitious plans to cut U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.
BP’s efforts to curb the flow of oil into the sea suffered another setback when a fire aboard a ship collecting the gushing crude forced suspension of siphoning from the ruptured underwater well. But operations were restarted before Obama spoke.
For years, free-market fundamentalists opposed to government regulation have sought to create doubt in the public’s mind about the dangers of smoking, acid rain, and ozone depletion. Now they have turned those same tactics on the issue of global warming and on climate scientists, with significant success.
In recent months, a group called the Cooler Heads Coalition — a creation of the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) — has fostered a public image of climate science as a criminal conspiracy. The CEI itself has accused NASA, the largest funder of climate science, of faking important climate data sets. In February, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, whose positions are frequently cited and promoted by CEI, called for a criminal investigation of 17 climate scientists from a variety of institutions for allegedly falsifying or distorting data used in taxpayer-funded research.
Faced with a faltering economy, fatigue over the health care fight, and the prospect of congressional elections this November, proponents of a carbon cap-and-trade bill in the U.S. Senate face high hurdles when Congress returns from its winter recess next week.
The Obama administration and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the lead author on the climate bill, insist that they are proceeding with plans to pass climate and energy legislation this year.