Prospects for passing some sort of long-term energy policy were good just two years ago, but a lousy economy and some aggressive lobbying by opponents of climate change policy derailed those efforts, and there's no reason to think things will get back on track in 2012.
The closest possibility may be clean energy standards legislation being crafted by Jeff Bingaman, a Democratic senator from New Mexico. But Republicans have already lined up against such a measure, and even existing clean energy policies are being questioned, especially after the failure of the solar cell maker and loan guarantee recipient Solyndra. (See "Solyndra: We Told You So.") Election year politics may force legislators to steer clear of hot button issues like climate change.