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Stripped down energy bill leaves out 'cap and trade'

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But other aspects of the bill, according to a draft summary of the legislation, step into other energy arenas by:

  • Providing incentives for turning the nation‘s heavy truck fleet to natural gas and toward electrification of the nation‘s transportation sector.
  • Promoting "clean energy job creation" providing $5 billion of rebates to encourage homeowners to make efficiency upgrades as part of the Home Star program.
  • Fully funding a Land and Water Conservation Fund over the next five years to ensure that vital US lands and waters are protected into the future from climate change damage.
  • Increasing the $1 billion liability cap of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to $5 billion and increasing fees to pay for it by requiring that oil companies pay 49 cents per barrel into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

But that was small solace to crest-fallen environmentalists and renewable energy advocates who were also plainly angered at Republicans' consistent ability to block major energy and climate reform in the Senate.

“At every opportunity, a minority of Senators who are in the pocket of America’s largest polluters in the coal and oil industries chose obstruction over working together to solve America’s energy and national security challenges," said a statement by a group of 350 organizations including the League of Conservation Voters, the Alliance for Climate Protection and the Union of Concerned Scientists. "As a result of their actions, the big polluters will continue to reap record profits at the expense of Americans."

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