Wednesday, June 22, 2005

More Energy Debate Updates

The Senate has rejected the McCain-Lieberman amendment to the energy bill by a vote of 38-60. Republicans Chafee, Collins, Gregg, Lugar, McCain and Snowe voted in favor of the amendment; eleven Democrats were upposed. Not unexpected, but disappointing. The amendment attracted the votes of just about all the Senate's centrists, while losing support from some liberals (Boxer, Feingold) because of its nuclear energy incentive provisions and from conservatives for the emissions reductions requirements. I'll post the roll call vote here as soon as it's available.

Next up is Jeff Bingaman's small-step climate change amendment, which I think still has some chance of passage. There will be a vote on that at 5:30 p.m., and after that, things get fuzzy. The energy bill's managers, Domenici and Bingaman, have said they intend to keep the Senate in session for much of the evening debating and voting on amendments, but there seems to be some confusion over the order in which amendments will be taken up.

More to follow, will update as necessary.

[Update: Roll call from McCain-Lieberman is here. I mentioned the six Republican supporters above; Democrat opponents were divided into several camps: 'conservatives' (Baucus, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson (NE), Pryor); 'producers' (Byrd, Levin, Dayton, Harkin) and liberals (Boxer, Feingold). Obviously some of those named fit into more than one of those labels, but that's basically how it shook out.

I've just come to understand that instead of actually doing anything, what Senator Bingaman has offered to be voted on at 5:30 is a "sense of the Senate" resolution, saying something to the effect of "we recognize that global warming exists, it's man-made, but we don't know what to do about it yet so we're going to pass a resolution saying we should take some action in the future." Passage of this will be a statement, but nothing more. This is a real shame. -- 5:21 p.m.]

[Update: They're getting ready to vote on the "sense of the Senate" resolution now; Senator Domenici has just finished speaking. He said that he recognized the facts of global warming, and that he felt the Senate needed to "make a statement" on the issue. A statement they will make, but apparently any meaningful action is too much to ask. Ugh. -- 5:39 p.m.]

[Update: After holding the vote open for fifty minutes (no idea why), a motion from Senator Inhofe to table Bingaman's "sense of the Senate" failed 43-54. The amendment was then passed by voice vote. Nebraska's Ben Nelson was the only Democrat to vote to table; Republicans Alexander, Collins, Lugar, Graham, DeWine, Gregg, Snowe, Specter, Chafee, Domenici, McCain and Warner voted in favor of the amendment (by my count, which could be off slightly; if it changes with the roll call comes up I'll so indicate). I'm glad that the amendment passed, I just wish it actually was more than a "half-baby-step" forward on climate change. More amendments are coming up now, with votes throughout the evening. -- 6:35 p.m.]

[Update: Roll call on Bingaman's "sense of the Senate" is here. Those not voting were Coleman, Conrad, and Dorgan. -- 7:41 p.m.]

[Update: While I was waiting for the result of the Bingaman vote, I got the newest update from the Virtual March on Global Warming (which you can join by clicking here). The March this week has gone to Indianapolis, where those in charge of the Indianapolis 500 recently announced that by 2007 all cars driven in the race will be powered 100% by corn-based ethanol. The March update also notes that 30,000 people have joined the movement in just the last two weeks (which works out to about 1 per minute by their calculations). Pretty impressive. -- 7:53 p.m.]

[Update: Two more votes just completed: the Senate rejected by a vote of 32-63 an amendment sponsored by Senators Warner and Alexander that would have disallowed federal funding for windmill projects within 20 miles of National Parks and certain other recognized sites, and also rejected a "sense of the Senate" amendment sponsored by Senator Kerry which called for U.S. participation in international negotiations to deal with the global effects of climate change. That vote was 46-49. I'll put the roll calls up as soon as they are available. There is going to be some more discussion tonight on various amendments, but no more votes this evening. The plan, according to Senator Frist, is to resume consideration of the energy bill at 9 a.m. tomorrow, with a cloture vote on the bill to come at 10 a.m. -- 8:57 p.m.]

[Update: This post is continued here, with new updates on the amendments up through the end of the week.]


At 5:09 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Thanks liberals for sinking the McCain Lieberman amendment. Great work. Nuclear power has its dangers and waste problems, but are those acutally WORSE than the reliance on fosil fuels? Ugh.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Ol' BC said...

Nobody seems to have faith in technological advances. Safe nuclear energy and clean burning coal. What ideas.


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