After more than a year of talking about the idea of having a comprehensive energy reform bill, Senators John Kerry (D – MA) and Joe Lieberman (I – CT) have introduced The American Power Act, a reform package that boasts fresh ideas for reforming American energy policy, cleaning the environment, and creating jobs. However, some critics, and even some supporters, believe that this bill is already dead in the water.
With midterm elections looming in the background, and an American public that seems to have lost all faith in government, the Senators are facing an uphill battle in passing this bill by the end of the year.
Both Kerry and Lieberman have been sitting on the bill for the last 10 months, working behind the scenes to gain co-sponsors and support.
One early supporter was Senator Lindsey Graham (R – SC), who gave his support only after Kerry and Lieberman made concessions on offshore oil drilling regulations and increased subsidies for building nuclear power plants.
However, as Mike Sandler reported for The Huffington Post, Graham abandoned the bill after he helped water it down, a tactic Sandler refers to as “water-down and ditch.”
As The New York Times reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) has said that he will take up the issue of the climate bill in a June 14 meeting with the Democratic Caucus, but he remains unsure as to whether or not he’ll push the American Power Act or a climate-only bill passed by the House last summer.
As time ticks on and many politicians grow increasingly concerned about saving their political lives, the fate of the American Power Act remains uncertain. But one thing is for sure – if Senate Democrats can’t come together on this issue, this bill will never see the light of day again.
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