|Earlier in the year, before BP's oil crisis and the destruction of the coast, House Democrats were hopeful in passing a bill that was to address climate change. The bill pushed the emission reductions, funding for alternate fuel research, energy-efficiency standards for new construction, and more. This "comprehensive" bill recently took a turn for the worst, when majority leader Harry Reid revised it, taking out all legislature concerning energy, emissions, and climate change all together. The new bill, now lower in cost, only $15 billion, is more concerned with the crisis at hand—British Petroleum's liability in the oil spill and how much money they must pay. Currently, the law cites that a maximum of $75 million must be paid by oil companies in case of spills. With Reid's revised plan, there would be no limit, and BP would have to pay a far, far higher sum. |
The reason for the revision? The previous bill had absolutely no Republican supporters. It is assumed that Reid is trying to appeal Democrats and Republicans who are divided by the oil spill as a means to attain the necessary sixty votes to pass a bill. Unfortunately though, even if the bill passes and BP is held fully accountable for their errors, much of the bill's initial intentions have been lost.
The surrender of the original, comprehensive bill does not bode well for California—currently trying to gain federal funding for its own, recent energy bill, passed in January. Based on the revised bill, emissions standards, energy use, and sustainable resources are no longer considered a priority. If the bill passes, California will essentially have no support from the federal government, both in funding and in spirit. The nations Energy Department has proved to be unusually slow in approving California's state projects on alternate energy sources, and with this quick surrender in Washington D.C., the future looks to be dismal.