Smaller Energy Bill Nonstarter in Senate


"Hopes of bill passage before recess dashed again by lack of bipartisan support."

Senate Democrats' hopes of passing a scaled-down piece of energy legislation before their summer recess were dashed again by a lack of bipartisan support.

The "Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act," introduced late last month by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), was a less ambitious energy bill and did not contain a cap-and-trade program for regulating carbon dioxide or a national renewable energy standard.

According to draft text of the legislation, the bill primarily addressed oil spill preparedness, clean-up efforts and the liability rules for oil companies.

Also in the bill were measures to increase energy efficiency and invest in vehicles that run on electricity or natural gas.

Reid said a vote could not happen before the Senate's August recess, but added he hopes the issue could be revisited in September.

According to reports, some Democrats believe this plan could allow them an opportunity to reintroduce some of the clean energy provisions that were a part of earlier, larger energy bills, such as a renewable portfolio standard. Others believe any later bills will only be slimmed down further.

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