Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader, announced after Senate debate on July 22 the decision to scale back energy legislation intended to reduce carbon emissions. The legislation, which passed the House in June 2009, includes cap-and-trade program to curb carbon pollution and requirements for utilities to buy more electricity from renewable sources. Mr. Reid told the reporter that the decision is a pragmatic one, provided the opposition from most Republicans and some Democrats. The Senate chose instead to pursue a more limited legislation focused on offshore drilling rules in response to the BP oil spill, household energy efficiency programs, and incentives for natural gas vehicles.
The collapse of the Climate Change bill disappointed conservation groups and lawmakers who have been involved in the bill negotiation for months. The decision is also viewed as a set back for some utility executives who expect congress to come up with some predictable rules regarding carbon emission. Carol M. Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, commented that the Obama administration is not happy about the outcome, but will still support the Senate’s decision.
Democrats Call Off Climate Bill Effort [The New York Times, 22 July 2010]
Some Utilities Disappointed in Scaled-Back U.S. Energy Plan [23 July 2010]