The energy bill passed through the House today, and is expected to pass the Senate by a wide margin on Friday.

The nation’s editorial boards have not taken kindly to this bill. The folks at Campaign for America’s Future sent around a sampling of responses, which I’ve included below the fold. I’ve added some links. If you have links to other op-ed reactions, leave them in comments.

The Boston Globe: Wasting Energy

The conferees are about to agree on a bill that neglects global warming; does little or nothing to curb increases in the cost of gasoline, heating oil, or natural gas; and leaves the country as exposed as ever to oil supply interruptions. It is no wonder that Vice President Dick Cheney has worked so hard to hide the identities of the energy company executives on his 2001 task force that came up with so much of this legislation. It is a bill that only industry executives and lobbyists could love, and even they don’t want their names on it. [7/27/05]

The New York Times: Energy Shortage

The bill, approved by a House-Senate conference early Tuesday morning, does not take the bold steps necessary to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, and it also fails to address the looming problem of global warming. These shortcomings are chiefly the fault of the White House and its retainers in the House. [7/28/05]

The Washington Post: Energy Deficient

Nevertheless, this is a bill that leaves most of the hard questions for later. Aside from a few tax breaks for purchasers of fuel-efficient cars, it makes no significant attempt to reduce the enormous automobile fuel demand that makes this country so dependent on imported oil. While it provides incentives for the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants, it doesn’t deal with the unresolved long-term problem of nuclear waste. It leaves out the whole question of mandatory controls on the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, thereby costing both an opportunity to raise revenue and create a market mechanism that might have accelerated the development of cleaner, more efficient technologies. It also perpetuates distortions in the energy market, providing needless subsidies for oil drilling offshore and on federal lands, and for marginal oil wells. And, by the way, don’t believe the spin: This bill will not lower fuel prices anytime soon. [7/28/05]

Los Angeles Times: Going the Extra Mile

Even if the bill finds its way to Bush’s desk, the future of energy production and use in the U.S. will hardly brighten. Both versions continue to ignore the need for a comprehensive policy that embraces conservation and alternative energy exploration in addition to traditional energy sources, particularly coal. Both are also laden with pork. [7/19/05]

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Energy Bill Far from Visionary

This bill is a lobbyists’ paradise and a citizens’ nightmare. It will do little to solve America’s energy problems. The United States needed innovation to wean it from foreign oil and adopt new fuels for the future – but little of that will occur from this "let’s pass it and claim we did something" package. China now has more ambitious gas-mileage standards than the United States. While no energy bill could have alleviated today’s high gas prices immediately, a balanced, forward-thinking bill could have set America on course to reduce gasoline consumption and diversify fuel supply. That’s a must for our pocketbooks and our national security. [7/28/05]

Orlando Sentinel: Not Good Enough

The national energy plan that congressional negotiators unveiled this week is a deep disappointment. It is unworthy of becoming law. There is no requirement for auto manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency in cars and trucks. That might be the single most effective way to curb this country’s dangerous and dirty oil addiction. It would reduce the demand that is a factor in driving up gas prices..And Congress continues to labor under the misconception that the United States — which burns some 25 percent of the world’s daily oil production but has only about 3 percent of its reserves — can somehow drill its way to energy independence..The price of this energy plan is too high. Its unfulfilled potential to promote true energy independence is too great. [7/28/05]

The Baltimore Sun: No Redeeming Value

Despite claims to the contrary, the measure won’t lower energy prices, spur the economy, create jobs or promote energy conservation and efficiency. Instead, it fosters the faulty notion that if environmental and other regulatory burdens are lifted, the good old fossil-fuel industry can meet the challenge of increased energy demand. The legislation’s approach to renewable energy sources is to subsidize the producers and provide tax credits to consumers. [7/27/05]

The Oregonian: Energy Prices: Playing with Time

Congress stages a depressing retreat, ditching the most meaningful conservation measures and embracing old-fashioned subsidies that fail to reverse U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Congress should do better. National security and the economy depend on it. If the United States doesn’t dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of its automobiles and embrace conservation, it will import two-thirds of its oil from abroad by 2025. That’s a recipe for economic and political disaster. [7/28/05]

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio): An Energy Bill, Or so They Call It

Seldom does Congress lay out such a smorgasbord of tax breaks, subsidies and pork-laced spending as it has prepared in the guise of the energy bill now being finished for the president’s signature. Fearless in promoting ethanol, Congress was not nearly so bold about seeking conservation measures. It backed off early attempts to cut American oil use by a million barrels a day by 2015, nor would it approve increasing vehicle mileage standards, choosing to leave that to the forces of a spiraling fuel market. [7/28/05]

Detroit Free Press: Energy Mistakes

America’s energy policy would not get appreciably better based on a bill that Congress may vote on as early as today. It still bears little resemblance to the kind of foresighted planning America needs to lower its use of oil and boost its native ability to innovate and conserve. President George W. Bush has said he wants this bill on his desk before lawmakers leave Washington for their summer vacation this weekend, but the country would be better off if they just leave. [7/27/05]

The Star Ledger (N.J.): Inadequate Energy Bill

Although Congress says America should be weaned from its dependence on foreign oil, less than $5 billion of the $14.5 billion federal energy bill expected to pass the House today is for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Mostly what the bill does is provide tax incentives to encourage domestic production and exploration. [7/28/05]

The Dallas Morning News: Energy Reality Check: Congress isn’t ready to declare independence

The editorial board would love to embrace it as a bold start toward a cleaner, safer, more secure future. But the best we can say is that, in some important regards, it’s an improvement on earlier versions – and the best we’re likely to get in the current political climate. [7/27/05]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Energy Bill: Obnoxious-lite

As President Bush and Congress push toward action, the public should be on guard. We will continue paying extra to oil companies at the pump for a long time. Help from the energy bill is an extremely dubious prospect. [7/26/05]

The Providence Journal: Let Them Die

The versions of the energy bill that have been passed by the House and Senate, and are being negotiated by a conference committee, are pretty bad, although the House one is worse. In both there’s far too little emphasis on conservation and on alternatives to fossil fuel, an increasingly percentage of which, of course, comes for abroad and a little bit of which helps pay the bills of the terrorist community. [7/27/05]

Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine): Energy Bill Lacks Power

It includes large subsidies, spread over 10 years, for nuclear power and for oil, gas and coal exploration and production, even though the country’s largest oil and gas companies are expected soon to announce record profits.Also missing from the final bill is a recommendation that the president find a way to reduce American oil consumption by 1 million barrels a day within 10 years. This small, but important, step would have begun to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. The United States imports 20.2 million barrels a day. [7/27/05]

The Denver Post: Energy Compromise a Step Backwards

The energy bill that’s emerging from a House-Senate conference committee won’t wean America off imported oil and could greatly harm the environment. Efforts by the Senate to boost energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources have been stripped away, while a push to exempt oil companies from basic environmental protections looks likely to become law. Clearly, the conference committee carried water for the oil business.The result is an energy bill that does almost nothing to reduce our dependence on imported oil. [7/26/05]

The Columbus Dispatch: Another Waste of Energy

The best energy-saving ideas indeed were swept — under a rug . Americans’ dependency on oil, particularly foreign oil, is a grave threat to national security. Concern for the safety of oil supplies is at the root of the present war in Iraq and the previous one. Yet again, Congress has failed to deal with the key issue and map out a reasonable plan to reduce Americans’ oil consumption and, at the same time, the pollution it causes. [7/11/05]

The Sacramento Bee: No Bailout on MTBE

The public will end up paying for MTBE pollution one way or the other. To ask already overburdened state, county and municipal governments to pay the biggest share while protecting oil companies would be wrong. Thank goodness Congress recognized this before it was too late. [7/26/05]

The Seattle Times: Eating Enron Debt

Enron creditors should not be repaid with further exploitation of Enron’s victims. They could if Congressman Joe Barton succeeds in blocking a reasonable energy-bill provision permitting federal energy regulators to protect victim utilities from organized hoodwinking by the likes of Enron. [7/21/05]