As we reported, the energy bill goes up for debate Friday but there won't be any debate on CAFE. Pelosi had a little talk with Markey and he withdrew his amendment to the CAFE standard. The Hill-Terry amendment has been withdrawn as well. In this short clip from the Newshour, Pelosi explains why she did it. She says she was NOT afraid of Dingell (Yeah, right). She just thought the CAFE standard that was already in the bill was good enough.
Ever since CAFE came up in the Energy Bill I have been transfixed by the developments. Let me recap the horse race for you. First, GM's CEO Rick Wagoner said CAFE was stupid. Senator Dianne Feinstein won anyway. This is the CAFE standard Pelosi says she supports. It was a nice but boring fight... then Dingell came along.
Go below the fold for more.
Markey had plans for a tougher standard and for a while, Markey looked like the clear winner. Hill-Terry, the opposing amendment to Markey, had it's supporters like GM. Markey had supporters too like Toyota and more importantly he had more votes. Dingell gave his support of Hill-Terry and it was all down hill from there for Markey. Why? Dingell has a little experience in government. He is the second longest serving representative... ever. In 2009, he becomes the longest serving according to Wikipedia. When he called the plan "delusionary" and said it would destroy a mystery car company, people noticed.
Suddenly, the energy bill, heck, the entire Democratic party was at stake. I went to a GM event recently and they seemed like they were threatening to kill the Volt. The pressure was palpable. So Pelosi for the good of everyone caved on CAFE and sent it to conference which is like purgatory. So this Friday, debates restart. Without any major arguments we might have an energy bill passed before the August recess. Markey says it's not over but if he brings it up, I am sure Dingell will use his magic powers to stop it again. The guy is like Darth Sidious or something!