Surprise! Senate Passes 2002 Democratic Energy Bill — Again

In an unexpected 11th-hour reversal, the U.S. Senate resolved its long deadlock over a comprehensive energy bill by passing, for the second time, a version of the measure approved last year when the Democrats were in control. The Republican leadership said they agreed to the earlier version because they will be able to rewrite much of it during negotiations with the House of Representatives over the final bill. Those negotiations are sure to prove challenging, as the differences between the Senate and House bills are substantial: The Senate version calls for increased reliance on renewable energy, a new White House office on climate change, and a registry of corporate greenhouse gas emissions, while the House version eschews those measures but calls for oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.