Thursday, July 22, 2010

Senate Democrats abandon comprehensive energy bill

Senate Democrats on Thursday abandoned plans to pass an energy bill that caps emissions of carbon dioxide, saying Republicans refuse to support the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said no Republican was willing to back a comprehensive energy bill, a development he called "terribly disappointing."

Democrats have been trying for more than a year to pass a plan that charges utilities and other major polluters for their heat-trapping carbon emissions, which contribute to global warming. They're also abandoning a compromise plan to limit emissions only from utilities that also failed to attract the 60 votes needed to advance it in the 100-member Senate.

Reid and other Democrats said they would focus on a narrower bill that responds to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and improves energy efficiency.

"We've always known from day one that to pass comprehensive energy reform, you've got to have 60 votes," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the bill's lead sponsor. "As we stand here today we don't have one Republican vote."

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