Home Star Update as Summer Recess Begins

Thu, 2010-08-12 10:30

It has been reported that the Senate would likely vote prior to their summer recess on both the Democratic and Republican proposals for an energy bill. If either the republican or democratic proposal had enough votes to end the debating, the Senate would likely have voted to pass it when they returned from summer recess on September 13th. With time running out in the session, leaders of both parties realized they lacked the 60 votes needed to end debate, so no vote was held. The Democratic proposal, the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act, which contains Home Star, was held up for reasons unrelated to Home Star - some Democratic Senators refused to support the oil company regulations, among other provisions.

One of the most positive advancements is that Home Star still has siginificant momentum and a promosing chance to pass before the year ends. Politico recently reported that Senators Begich (D-AK), Landrieu (D-LA), and Menendez (D-NJ) may be close to reaching a deal on oil company regulations, President Obama is still fervently supporting Home Star, and Home Star earned a few new co-sponsors, bringing the total to 33! With this continued momentum and Senators negotiating over summer recess there is hope that a decison will be made and passed prior to the November elections.

The Home Star coalition is planning to hold meetings and conduct outreach events with key senators during the summer recess. There will also be a national Home Star call-in day on September 8th, days before the Senate returns from their summer recess. Any and all support for this call-in effort will help the cause.

Aside from Home Star, other positive developments are on the horizon for the clean energy industry. While a climate bill has seemed out of consideration at times, Carol Browner, Director of White House Office of Energy & Climate Policy, is still discussing its possibility, showing that President Obama remains committed to pursuing greenhouse gas mitigation. Senator Kerry is also pursuing the creation and /or extension of energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits in a bill he recently introduced, the Clean Energy Technology Leadership Act (S. 3738). Groups are urging Congress to extend the Energy Efficient Community Block Grants from the Stimulus into 2011. Last but not least, a bipartisan group of Senators are advocating for a renewable electricity standard which also has an efficiency component.

This the context Home Star finds itself in – a broader array of energy issues as we race towards the elections.

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