BP oil leak stops, static kill, National Oceans Council, Senate energy & climate bill
What a week – lets recap:
- Oil stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico (temporarily) from the BP oil spill thanks to a new cap
- Controversy developed between BP and the US Coast Guard regarding opening the new cap, which would re-start the flow of oil into the surrounding ocean
- BP announced that it might be able to seal off the well using a process called “static kill“
- The Obama Administration announced new comprehensive federal Oceans policy, including the creation of a National Oceans Council and several measures designed to protect ocean ecosystems
- Senate Democrats, led by Senator Harry Reid, have pulled back on their more aggressive energy and climate bill carbon pricing program – the new plan will only regulation electric utilities
- Senator Reid announced that he will push for debate on the Senate energy and climate bill before the August recess.
The last of these events, the announcement that Senator Reid plans to start debate on a Senate energy and climate bill before the August recess, has caused quite a stir in Washington. A lot of skepticism exists on both sides of the climate change debate.
For those who support carbon regulation, the limitation of this new bill proposal to utilities (excluding the transportation sector completely) leads to grumblings that the legislation won’t do enough to curb national emissions levels. On the anti-regulation side, this bill will still put an economic burden on the American people.
The Senate bill is a conglomeration of many individual bills currently under discussion in Congress – a stone soup approach to policy-making. According to a story published by the Center for American Progress today, the bill will have four parts.
- oil spill response
- clean-energy and clean-jobs from the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee
- tax package from the Senate Finance Committee
- section dealing with carbon dioxide emissions from electric utilities
For more details on the bill, check out the Center for American Progress summary (here)