Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The House energy battle is underway again this week, with votes on a bill possible as early as tomorrow. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released an outline of the Democrats’ bill last week; it would open some new areas to offshore drilling and provide support for efficiency and renewables. House Republicans are demanding a vote on their own “all of the above” energy bill, introduced in July, which is heavier on the drilling and lighter on everything else.

Minority Leader John Boehner has effectively rejected the Dems’ plan. He and other House GOP leaders sent a letter [PDF] to Pelosi last week criticizing her for letting the House go on August recess without having passed the Republicans’ energy bill.

Pelosi responded with a letter of her own on Friday, calling Boehner’s letter an “act of desperation.” She wrote, “It is curious that you would consistently side with the Big Oil companies against the U.S. taxpayers and consumers both on the House floor and during the recent recess.” Pelosi ended by expressing hope that the remaining weeks of this Congress “will be marked by cooperation and bipartisan efforts rather than by partisanship.” Don’t hold your breath.

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Debate on energy legislation resumes today and is likely to continue until the 110th Congress wraps up at the end of the month.