Senate Democrats announced yesterday that they would not consider new energy legislation until next year, angering Republicans who had hoped to quickly finalize a plan favored by the Bush administration. The Bush plan, which would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and provide about $30 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear industries, gained momentum in the wake of Sept. 11 but is likely to suffer from the delay. Democrats want legislation that emphasizes conservation and higher fuel-efficiency standards, and could leverage the issue to highlight differences between Republicans and Democrats in the coming election year. The GOP claims the delay threatens national security, and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) said he would ask Bush to pressure Congress for rapid action on energy matters.
Get Grist in your inbox