Reid Signals Aggressive Focus on Energy Bill
By Juliet Eilperin
Not satisfied with the billions for clean energy projects in the stimulus package, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today he will work to pass a new energy bill within a matter of weeks.
Reid -- who's helped organize a clean energy summit next week in Washington that is bringing former president President Clinton and vice president Al Gore to town along with entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens -- said he's asked Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) to prepare a bill that will set a national renewable portfolio standard.
"We have a really nice package in the recovery bill that we passed, but we need to do more," Reid said in an interview. "We will continue to focus attention on something that's vitally important to the safety and national security of this country, which is dependence on foreign oil."
Reid, who predicted the Senate could complete work on the energy bill during the chamber's upcoming six-week work period, said the measure would also include provisions addressing the nation's electricity grid.
Once the energy bill is done, Reid said, legislators will turn their attention to climate change legislation that could pass the Senate "later this summer."
"That could involve cap and trade or a carbon tax," he added.
Posted at 5:17 PM ET on Feb 18, 2009
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