Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Well, Shrub signed the pathetic energy bill today and is taking credit for making sweeping changes in environmental policy. Not too sweeping actually. You see the Chinese passed mileage standards for their vehicles four years ago that are more aggressive than our new "sweeping" ones and they apply to individual vehicles not fleet averages like ours. Did I mention that theirs go up to 38 mpg next year. The automakers are very happy with our delayed requirements and Big Oil is really tickled especially since we didn't remove their 13 billion in tax breaks either. Oh yeah, Big Oil and Big Coal, and Big Chemical won this energy bill big time.

Let's review what happened with the energy bill:

  1. The House and Senate each voted through energy bills. The Senate's had a CAFE boost and a Renewable Fuel Standard; the House's had a Renewable Energy Standard and a tax package to take subsidies from oil companies and give them to renewable energy.
  2. Nancy Pelosi battled for months with John Dingell, finally securing his support for a CAFE increase.
  3. The House then passed a bill that had all the provisions in it -- CAFE, RFS, RES, and tax package.
  4. The White House threatened a veto. Republican Senators whined.
  5. Reid put the bill up for a vote; it failed.
  6. Reid stripped out the RES but not he tax package and put it up for another vote -- it failed 59-41 to overcome a filibuster threat.
  7. Reid stripped out the tax package and passed the bill more or less the way the Senate originally passed it: CAFE an RFS.

The White House's sole involvement in this process was to threaten Nancy Pelosi, vowing to veto any bill that didn't do exactly what Shrub's idiot "20 in 10" plan does, and no more. Republicans in Congress, as they have for seven long years now, went along lockstep with his wishes. The American people and the world loses another. We will have to wait until TEOB (The End of Bush) before we have a chance at any meaningful energy package. Once more the worst President in history has made his mark and it sucks.

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