Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week rolled out a clean energy plan called the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act. This plan is not a replacement for a comprehensive energy bill but a first step towards addressing our rising energy costs and dependence on foreign oil.
“I know some would rather we introduce and force a vote on a comprehensive climate bill today, even if 60 Senators do you not yet want to pass it,” said Reid. “I understand their position and share their frustration. But we don’t have the luxury of wasting the American people’s time. An unsuccessful vote might be politically satisfying, but it does nothing to create jobs, hold BP accountable, lessen our dependence on oil, cut energy costs or protect the planet. Our bill, on the other hand, does each of these things.”
This bill will address several critical issues:
- Ensure that BP pays to clean up its mess.
- Invest in Home Star, a bipartisan energy efficiency program that lowers consumers’ energy costs and creates jobs.
- Protect the environment by investing in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- Reduce our dependence on oil by making investments in vehicles that run on electricity and natural gas.
- Increase the amount that oil companies are required to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
Reid said this week that he hopes to hold a vote on this plan early next week. In the meantime, Reid and his Senate colleagues will continue working to get the votes needed to pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill. “We can accomplish both,” said Reid. “We have to.”