Senate Democrats prepare for an energy debate this month
By Shailagh Murray
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday he had assembled a "rough draft" of an energy bill and would aim to bring the legislation to the Senate floor the week of July 26.
Reid (D-Nev.) said the bill would include provisions aimed at cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico and preventing further offshore drilling disasters, along with alternative energy and conservation incentives. The package is part of a broader effort by Democrats to promote initiatives with job-creation potential, as members of Congress head out on the 2010 campaign trail.
But Reid said Senate Democrats had not yet resolved how to address the controversial issue of pollution reduction. The Senate is not expected to adopt the comprehensive "cap and trade" scheme that was included in a bill passed by the House. Republicans say it would drive up energy costs for companies and consumers, especially in coal-dependent states.
The Senate bill may target emissions from power plants, Reid said. "We're looking at a way of making sure that when we talk about pollution, that we're focused just on the utility section," he told reporters Tuesday.
When pressed to specify whether the Senate would seek a "cap on utility carbon emissions," Reid responded, "Those words are not in my vocabulary....we're going to work on pollution."
What does he mean by pollution? "It means there's bad stuff in the air," Reid responded, declining to provide further details.
July 13, 2010; 4:28 PM ET
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