The Precarious Balance of the Renewable Energy Standard
It’s a tricky thing, getting 60 votes for a renewable energy standard in the Senate. As of yesterday, the RES had 25 co-sponsors, including four Republicans. While that’s not shabby, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the bill, proposed by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kans.), needs to have the air-tight support of 60 senators before he’ll bring it to the floor.
Environmentalists and renewable energy advocates say they are confident they can get to 60 votes. But here are a couple road blocks that they’ll have to avoid:
-Republicans likely won’t vote for a bill if Reid tries to attach other energy provisions to it.
-Liberal Democrats will likely pull their support if Republicans try to broaden the scope of the RES to include so-called clean coal or nuclear.
-Amendments: RES proponents are worried that a floor debate could get weighed down by Republican amendments.