The Clarion-Ledger, 2/3/8

Members of Congress went home for the holidays only to have political pundits accuse them of having accomplished little or nothing of consequence. But a “do-nothing” Congress sometimes is, as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing – especially when the alternative is enacting legislation that hurts the economy.

More often than not, Congress produces laws that are mixed bags of both good news and bad. That certainly was true of the energy bill passed just before adjourning last December.

Thanks to the efforts of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and former Sen. Trent Lott, who both voted against cloture and kept debate alive on the Senate floor, billions of dollars in new taxes on domestic energy companies and unrealistic renewable energy requirements for investor-owned utilities were cut from the final version that ultimately was signed into law by President Bush.