Now that cap and trade has turned stiff, Bradford Plumer pages through the other items in the energy bill:
For now, it looks like the only cap that can pass through the Senate would be watered down and do more harm than good. So we're left with the combination of EPA Clean Air Act regulationswhich, first and foremost, will shutter a lot of older coal plants and prevent new ones from being builtalong with a grab-bag of subsidies and regulations that would ramp up renewable power and tamp down on energy waste. That's not a recipe for the long-term transformation of the U.S. economy. And it's not going to be the sort of thing you can use to sign an international climate treaty. But in the short run? Sure, a strong energy bill plus the EPA could make a fair bit of progress. But so much depends on the gritty details. And no one knows how those will shake out yet.