HOME STAR Legislation Delayed

Wed, 2010-08-04 11:54

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he will postpone a vote on the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010 until after the August recess. Reid told reporters that the scaled-down energy bill, which includes the proposed HOME STAR retrofit incentive and financing program, lacks enough votes to pass this week.

Heres how Politico summed up the situation:

It initially appeared that the slender offshore drilling package was a “must-pass” bill with political momentum, but it became evident during the past week that Reid lacked the votes within his own caucus to force the issue as the Republicans held firm against it.

Central to the offshore drilling reform bill was a title to eliminate the $75 million liability cap on damages oil companies must pay in the case of spills and other disasters. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), both close allies of the oil industry, made clear they opposed that provision.

The deeply partisan atmosphere in the Senate ensured that there would be no opportunity to amend the bill with a scaled-down compromise liability title. Reid’s staff had made clear that if the bill were to come to the floor, it would be subject to a only straight up or down vote.

Supporters of the HOME STAR legislation are now focusing their efforts on a renewed push to get the law enacted in the fall when Congress is back in session.

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