Excuse me as I take a shower …

Let me luxuriate in the feeling of feeling played, of feeling used.  The sullied feeling is just such a joyous thing to have.

Many excoriated me (in multiple venues, private and public) for not being ‘political’ enough since I was not joyously celebrating the Energy Bill that passed from the House and was tarnishing my praise for the political courage and strength of action by pointing to the Energy Bill’s flaws.

And, well, perhaps sadly, I watched my language a little bit and ‘pimped’ support for this bill that might have been ‘strong’ in political terms but was simply inadequate in face of the very real challenges before this nation and the globe (Peak Oil, Global Warming, Etc …)

Hmmm …

The Energy Bill has been stripped of even its weakened renewable electricity standards (RES — okay, geeky issue, but extremely important for helping to foster an Energy Smart future).  The end of atrocious tax subsidy loopholes for the fossil-fuel base? Also gone.  Support for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency?  Stripped out since the funding isn’t there any more.

The legislation still contains a landmark increase in fuel-economy standards for vehicles and a huge boost for alternative fuels. But a $13 billion tax increase on oil companies and a requirement that utilities nationwide produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources were left on the floor to secure Republican votes for the package.

The tax measure and the renewable electricity mandate were included in an energy bill that easily passed the House last week. But industry lobbyists focused their attention on Republican members of the Senate and on the White House, which repeatedly threatened to veto the bill if the offending sections were not removed.

And, the Omnibus Bill, while we weren’t watching, is stuffed with funding for “old” energy to the tune of 4-1 against anything for an Energy Smart future.

Separately, Congress reached a tentative agreement on a major energy package that it plans to enact outside the energy bill, according to a Senate Democratic staff member. The agreement, to be included in a broad government spending bill, would authorize the Energy Department to guarantee loans for various energy projects, making financing far easier.

The agreement would guarantee loans of up to $25 billion for new nuclear plants and $2 billion for a uranium enrichment plant, something those industries had been avidly seeking. It would also provide guarantees of up to $10 billion for renewable energy projects, $10 billion for plants to turn coal into liquid vehicle fuel and $2 billion to turn coal into natural gas.

Okay, am I allowed to criticize yet?

Or, am I supposed to be dancing on the streets, patting the Democratic Party leadership on the back for getting a rather weak increase in CAFE standards into the Energy bill and onto the President’s desk?

Excuse me while I need to go scrub myself (exfoliate, one might say) in the shower.


10 responses to “Excuse me as I take a shower …

  1. It’s more like Congress dropped the soap in the shower and is asking its Citizens to bend over to pick it up…..

    Also, all the more reason for Bush to veto the currently proposed Energy Bill….better to wait for a Dem president and more solid Dem Congressional majority as one of their first legislative priorities than to continue on a failed strategy.

  2. Okay, am I allowed to criticize yet?

    Hell yes, and you were “allowed” to criticize it from the beginning. I didn’t realize you had gotten so much criticism for doing what you do best, calling out flaws and bad ideas when it comes to our approach to energy usage. I confess, I don’t always read all the comments. :-/ But even I, with my limited political knowledge, knew this bill would get completely watered down. I would rather have no bill than this – really. By allowing this weak legislation out of Congress, it again sends the message to the non-politically astute populace that, oh, our energy problems really aren’t that big of a deal. After all, the government wouldn’t pass bad legislation, would it? People are slowly coming around to the farce that is Washington, D.C., but sadly there are still far too many people who think they don’t need to expect any more from government than what it deigns to give us. After all, if our leaders don’t think these issues are important, why should anyone else? And it’s especially sad at this point in time, when there is increasing concern about the environment in general and energy specifically. We could and should be capitalizing on that momentum.

    I really can’t add anything to this post. Well written and direct.

  3. This is so pathetic…. week after week after week we see one capitulation after another. The rest of the world is screaming, hey! wake up, we humans are headed for a collison with the planet…we must act now!

    Meanwhile our so called “leaders” continue to wimp out, leaving future generations with a giant nightmare….
    Sad doesn’t begin to cover it.

  4. I just want to cry. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  5. How about both criticism and pats on the back. There are some legislators who worked hard to make this a good bill – they deserve pats on the back. Those who later eviscerated it need to hear loud and clear that the hollow bill they’ve created isn’t earning them any points, or votes.

    I wish we had the resources to flood the airwaves with ads about the way Congress has gutted our future.

  6. Pingback: AMERICAN NONSENSE » Passing the Inertia Bill

  7. This feels like suicide. I would prefer no bill at all. Leave the money in the coffers so that it is still there if and when we come to our collective senses.

  8. Adam,
    Take being excoriated for not being “political enough” as a superlative compliment for being principled and adhering to the tenets of your (our Planet’s) cause.
    “Not being political enough” to sell out?
    “Not being political enough” to recognize that the status quo is enabling the destruction of Earth’s ability to support “life as we know it?”
    I agree with mataliandy in that the legislators who put forth the original should be commended in trying to repeal the tax cuts for big oil… ESPECIALLY in their period of record profits.
    All the sell outs need to be excoriated.
    I find myself wanting to quote the character in “hunt for red october” … the second in command in the Russian sub who scolds the captain “You arrogant fool! You’ve killed us all!” seconds before their own torpedoes hit them.

    Aside from a few gems that really stand out, the 110th is truly the best congress money can buy. Unfortunately, money is not acting in the best interests of the majority of people or their descendants.

  9. OK ….

    Time’s up, Siegel.

    And the task remains, regardless of POTUS candidate, that Americans HH by HH must be persuaded to abandon destructive consumption behaviors. This is a huge rhetorical challenge, one at which you’ve thrown your formidable skills and leadership — the “COOL” and “UNCOOL.” And it is thankless. Be forewarned: you may not live to see the day such change is reported –accurately, empirically– by MSM and its astroturfing toadies. S 98 is a federal operating principle. And that principle has nothing to with opportunity costs of absolute GHG reduction. I’ve also read EPAct of 2005 in its entirety. Capice?

    Then it developed, as EA was asked (or ordered?) to “recommend” HUD energy efficiency policy (March 2007) and found, quickly, facts most certainly neither warranted nor favored such a “political” initiative. I, too, only dropped hints –out of respect for EA, I assure you– rather burn certain Democratic bridges for EA. No matter: Look where we, the nation, are now on tax credits and real estate “investment,” given Congressional oversight. And you will have marked well that none of the DNC POTUS candidates is positioned to leverage HH economic memory of the new “New Deal” a sustainable infrastructure.

    Coalitions as in CA and the RGGI are on their own. It’s only my opinion that EA advocates for such independent legislative groundswells as well as DIY and very, very particular start-ups which may ultimately, categorically finance long-term personal and muni projects, like ESCB.

  10. Pingback: Politic crap news » Passing the Inertia Bill

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