Senate Majority Whip Casts Doubt of Passage of Any Energy Legislation in This Congress

October 27th, 2010 - Posted by RESNET under Energy Efficiency, Legislation, Recovery Through Retrofit, RESNET News, RESNET Notes, RESNET Notes - October 2010

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) cast doubt Tuesday on the prospects for energy legislation during an expected lame-duck session. “I think it’s a long shot,” Durbin, was quoted in CQ, noting that action on appropriations, taxes and an arms control treaty could consume most of the chamber’s time after the November elections. “It’s not an easy and quick bill.”

Asked about specific proposals such as oil-spill liability rules and renewable energy standards, Durbin said: “There are many choices and most of them are controversial. To think we can do them quickly in a lame duck is a long shot.”

It appears that Durbin’s remarks dealt a blow to a last-minute bipartisan push by Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sam Brownback (D-KS) to bring a standalone renewable energy standard bill (S 3813) to the floor after the elections.

Durbin’s comments also suggest it is unlikely that any proposals to address the Home Star program will resurface after the elections either. Reid had intended before the August recess to bring up a modest energy package (S 3663) that included the Home Star program and also included oil spill provisions. The effort was doomed by Republican opposition and internal disagreement among Democrats over a provision that would eliminate the $75 million liability cap on economic damages from oil spills.

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