Not a flattering account from Roll Call, “Democrats Still Without an Energy Bill“:
Still unable to produce an energy package, House Democratic leaders emerged from a Caucus meeting Tuesday with plans for more meetings.
Democrats arrived 45 minutes late to a news conference because of disagreements over policy approaches. While the news conference was called to unveil their long-awaited package, Democratic leaders instead rehashed previous statements about the likely contents of the bill.
During the Caucus meeting, Members accepted the bill’s drilling provisions “as a matter of fact,” but some wanted to go further and include other energy sources, such as coal and nuclear energy, according to a senior Democratic aide. Others wanted to scale back oil drilling provisions.
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) issued a rebuke on behalf of the Republicans:
“Democrats have an opportunity to do right by the American people, who’ve been socked by high gas prices and will soon bear the burden of high home heating costs. Democrats should shelve this cobbled-together measure, throw open the curtains of the people’s House and hold a full and fair debate, followed by an up-or-down vote on the American Energy Act.
“The American Energy Act is truly an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy solution that improves energy efficiency, promotes the next generation of renewable and alternative fuels and produces more American energy in environmentally sound ways. It is what our economy needs, and it is what American families are demanding. For once, House Democrats should listen to the people who sent them here.”
Politics aside, a full and fair debate on the American Energy Act or a bipartisan fascimile therof — The bipartisan Peterson-Abercrombie bill, H.R. 6709, serves admirably — would indeed be a real service. Americans support more domestic energy development, the economy and people’s livelihoods desperately need the relief, and proposing an energy bill encumbered with all sorts of tax increases, regulations and concessions to the greens won’t sit well with the public.
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