Both chambers passed out dramatically different versions earlier in the year. Traditionally, an agreement would be hammered out in a conference committee, which is a panel of representatives from both the House and Senate. After a final draft is presented, the two chambers would then take a final vote.
But Pelosi has removed that option from the table. Instead, leaders from both parties will meet individually ' likely behind closed doors flanked by special interests ' to draft a compromise measure that will then be introduced as a normal bill to once again navigate the legislative process.
While previous incarnations of Congress' annual energy bill have contained pork projects for Louisiana or other perks, this year's Democratic model focuses on a variety of greener topics, such as renewable sources of electricity, ethanol mandates and fuel efficiency for vehicles.
Practically every member of the Louisiana congressional delegation voted against the bill, arguing the package throws up roadblocks to further domestic oil and gas exploration and production ' a lifeline to billions for the Bayou State.
Pelosi, a Democrat from California who leads the majority, called the legislation a "top priority" recently and argued a conference committee could not be called because Republicans in the Senate were blocking the effort. After countless hours of work that included 10 different committees and dozens of special interests from around the nation, the 2007 energy bill is in some ways going back to the drawing board.
The energy bill this time around is geared to promote energy efficiency and kill the nation's dependency on fossil fuels. The most significant provisions call for increasing fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. That's compared to 27.5 miles per gallon today. Another mechanism in the bill would require utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
It's a drastic change from the energy bills Congress usually cranks out. In fact, there are no outrageous subsidies even identified for the coal, oil and nuclear industries. Rather, there are taxes and fees passed along to pay for many of the new programs. As such, the 2007 energy bill has supporters never thought possible.
"(The) energy bill also contains numerous other important provisions that will help us begin to fight global warming and end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, a national environmental group. "After years ' if not decades ' spent battling truly reprehensible energy legislation, it is extremely refreshing to be instead focused on just how many progressive policies can be added to an energy bill."
Louisiana's congressional delegation was not as cheerful. Rep. William Jefferson and Sen. Mary Landrieu, both of New Orleans, stayed the party line, though, supporting the Democratic bill. The surprise vote came from fellow Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon of Napoleonville, who represents the massive district that stretches from Acadiana to Terrebonne-Lafourche. He went against the rank-and-file and joined his Louisiana colleagues in dismissing the bill.
Melancon said he is concerned about the harmful effects of greenhouse gases and global climate changes, and he supports efforts to reverse the trend. The 2007 energy package, however, does nothing to lower energy costs ' it will actually be an increase, Melancon argued.
"I believe we need an energy policy that puts our nation on the path toward being energy self-sufficient, so we are not at the mercy of foreign, sometimes unfriendly, countries like Venezuela and China," he said. "Raising taxes on American businesses will not make us more energy independent, and less domestic energy production means higher energy costs for Louisianians."
Rep. Bobby Jindal, a Kenner Republican, was the only delegation member to miss the vote. As a candidate for governor, Jindal has missed dozens of votes this year, which his office and campaign label as "regrettable" but unavoidable during an election season.
Others from the delegation opposing the energy bill include Republican Reps. Rodney Alexander, Richard Baker, Charles Boustany and James McCrery. GOP Sen. David Vitter was also a no vote.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
NJ lady beats Donald Trump; Israel calls up more troops; border hearings accelerated and more national and international news for Thursday, July 31, 2014.
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.