Will there be a new energy and air pollution law?

Senate commitee battle over energy and emissions bill.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Current wisdom among the Beltway blatherers: it will take six Republican votes to get an energy bill through the Senate. That might be done if the bill becomes a big enough gift to energy corporations and other vested interests. The move to get bi-partisan support might even include an effort to get more nuclear power plants built in the U.S. Nuclear's been political no-go territory now for three decades. Nuclear in the U.S. gets little support from most American enviornmental groups and is disliked by fossil fuel companies.

So far there's been no overt Republican support for the Kerry-Boxer bill as it is now. The House last spring passed its own energy and climate change legislation (Waxman-Markey) but the Senate chose to start over.

There's going to be a move by Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to get the Senate version of an energy bill marked up and out of her committee this week. One of the provisions of the current Senate bill is cap and trade on greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, the seven Republican members have vowed to boycott any such committee work. And without two Repubs present, the committee cannot act under Senate rules. Will they suspend the rules? Is the Senate bill DOA? Boxer intends to move ahead with the bill tomorrow. Not clear what movement can be taken.

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