So much for an energy bill before recess. CongressDaily's Amy Harder and Dan Friedman report that Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is abandoning his push to pass a comprehensive energy package before the August break. The news is hardly surprising, given that Senate Dems had not yet decided on a bill to bring to the floor next week, but it is sparking anger in environmental circles.
Reid had previously planned to incorporate energy provisions into a "spill bill" tightening oil industry regulation and reforming the Minerals Management Service, thereby pressuring Republicans to vote for the legislation or risk appearing to side with oil companies. The Senate will still tackle a spill bill, but it will not include a carbon cap or even a renewable electricity standard.
When the news broke, Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman were digging for last-minute support for their carbon-pricing bill. Ever tireless in the face of the Senate's climate paralysis, Kerry then "called upon a crowd of more than 200 clean-energy advocates to work with him to find 60 votes for comprehensive energy and climate legislation":
"We're going to have to find 60 votes to get it done, and we're counting on you to find those 60 votes," Kerry told the crowd, which included people from all over the country who were in Washington to urge their senators to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation.
Read the full story at CongressDaily.
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