Rumors began circulating late last Friday — as the Senate was passing the much-weakened energy bill — that some terrible provisions had made their way into the omnibus spending package, which will likely face votes in both bodies by the end of the week.

Now comes word from Friends of the Earth that “the omnibus spending bill expected to come before the House of Representatives tonight and the Senate tomorrow directs $20.5 billion in loan guarantees to nuclear power and $8 billion to the coal industry, with language that includes potential subsidies for the production of coal-to-liquid fuels.”

That’s (utterly unnecessary) spending on dirty energy at a rate about four times as large as (utterly crucial) spending on clean energy. So it’s no surprise that environmental groups are coming out against it.

I’ll be making inquiries about this tonight and tomorrow, but early word is that these handouts come from … Democrats in Congress! If that’s true, and the bill makes it through the House unchanged, then it’s very unlikely that the money will be stripped from the bill before it’s passed. Stay tuned in between futile bouts of wincing/screaming/crying into your beer.

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