The influential president of a leading electric utilities industry group told Reuters last week that he is skeptical about passage of the much-vaunted energy plan likely to be reintroduced to Congress this year by the White House.
“The job’s probably not going to be a whole lot easier,” reports Thomas Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). “Although there is a stronger Republican majority, if you look at the Senators who left and the new ones who are coming in, it does not change the landscape a whole lot as far as voting’s concerned.”
The controversial energy bill—generated by Dick Cheney’s secret energy task force—was first offered up in 2001 and revived in 2003. That bill, which passed the House but failed to make it through the Senate, called for $31 billion in incentives to boost oil and gas drilling, nuclear power and coal-fired utilities while allocating only token funding for alternative energy development. The Bush administration is likely to put a similar version of the bill before Congress this coming spring.