I’ll Hammer Out YOUR Bill in Conference….

…if you know what we mean.  Wait, oh come on, we were kidding….

They’re gonna hammer out a doozy in September, folks.

The House passed an energy bill that would make the energy industry produce 15% of all our electricity from renewable sources — solar, wind, etc. — by about a dozen years from now. (It also put some taxes on oil companies — $18 billion in taxes, actually.)

Meanwhile, the Senate passed an energy bill that would make automakers produce cars that get 35 mpg or more, also by about a dozen years from now.

So these two energy bills go to conference, and what will come out? Will the merged bill have the renewable-energy standard and the fuel-efficiency standard? Will it have the same standards (15% and 35 mpg), or will they be weakened?  Will it have only one of the two? Will it have (shudder to think) neither one?

George Bush says he’ll veto a bill that makes life hard on his poor, unfortunate, record-profit-reaping friends in the not-so-dog-eat-dog energy industry. And you can bank on that; GWB will never be disloyal to his truest constituency. He was willing to abandon the social conservatives to take care of the boardrooms in the immigration debate earlier this year, so he’ll have no problem squaring off against Nancy Pelosi on behalf of the same crew.

Will the dems back down in conference? Will they put out a weaker, watered-down bill to avoid the fight? Or will they force a veto? Will they back down after the veto? How long until the Democrats inevitably remember who they are, and cave in? After all, the DLC’ers are probably grouchy about the fact that the party can be tied to a piece of substantive legislation that doesn’t test at 100% among undecideds. Their chorus will eventually be heard, won’t it?

We shall see, at about the same time this godforsaken sweatbath heat snap finally breaks.

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