Climate & Energy

Senate OKs fuel-economy increase, but drops more ambitious parts of energy bill

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed an energy bill that would raise auto fuel-economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 — but only after a more ambitious version of the bill ran into a roadblock. The more ambitious version, which the House passed last week, got a thumbs-up from 59 senators — a handful of Republicans as well as all of the Democrats except Mary Landrieu from oil-friendly Louisiana — but that was still one vote shy of the 60 needed to get it past a threatened filibuster. To push the bill through, Democratic leaders in the Senate …

How a bill becomes a law

President says he will sign energy bill

The White House just released a statement saying that the president will sign the just-passed energy bill into law: Last January, President Bush called on Congress to reduce our nation’s consumption of gasoline by 20 percent in 10 years by modernizing CAFE standards and greatly expanding the use of alternative fuels. We congratulate the United States Senate for their effort to address the challenge of the President’s bold “20 in 10″ initiative. The Senate energy plan will update CAFE standards and enhance the use of renewable fuels. By addressing the concerns of the Administration and moving forward with a bipartisan …

Energy woes

Final roll call of votes on the weakened energy bill

Here's the official roll call (the names won't be up for a few minutes yet). A bittersweet day, to say the least.

Energy woes

Weakened energy bill passes

The bill passes 86 to 8. Again, I will post the full Roll Call when it's posted on the Senate website shortly.

Energy woes

Roll Call on the energy bill

Roll call is still going on, and the thing has gone way over the top. For whatever reason, when Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was called, and voted no, it rang in my ear. So I went and checked, and sure enough, she's switched her vote. Not sure what animated her. The Michigan thing? Not being able to say she supported a CAFE bill because of its renewable energy requirements? Others may have switched. I'll post the full roll call when it's up.

Energy woes

Domenici supports watered down energy bill

Ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources committee Pete Domenici (R-NM) just stated strong support for the bill, after voting to kill the much better version. Domenici is as responsible as any single person for blocking the renewable energy provisions in the version of the bill sent up from the House. He deserves maximum raspberries today.

Energy woes

Boxer’s supporting the scaled-back energy bill; it will likely pass

She's the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. She carries a lot of weight and many will no doubt follow her lead. This thing is going to pass. James Inhofe just said he thinks it'll probably get about 80 votes. Perhaps the only interesting remaining question is whether anybody (Sanders?) will oppose this thing out of protest.

Energy woes

What the Republicans are saying about the energy bill

The floor debate over the (second) Senate vote on the energy bill has begun. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the first to stand up and speak, now says she will support the bill. She voted no last time, so assuming no Republicans switch from "yeah" to "nay" (and that no Democrats switch from "yeah" to "nay"), this thing will go through.

Sights and sounds from an Arctic research vessel

In late November, I began a three-week stay on the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker and scientific research vessel that is spending 15 months in the Arctic. This expedition will be the first ever to spend the winter moving through sea ice north of the Arctic Circle — and at present, I am the only reporter on board. The logistics of such an expedition are extremely difficult. But we are here now because it is so important to predict the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Press Play to watch with narration by the author, or use …

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