Landmark energy bill stalls in the Senate
Today, Senate Republicans blocked efforts to push through the landmark energy bill that was passed by the House yesterday. To cut off debate on the bill and avoid a filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) needed 60 votes; he got only 53. Republican leaders in the Senate now hope to strip out two key provisions of the bill: a Renewable Portfolio Standard mandating that utilities produce 15 percent of their energy from renewables by 2020, and a provision that would cut tax breaks and subsidies for oil companies. President Bush wants those components out of the bill too, and has said he would veto the bill if they’re not removed. If the Senate does change the bill, it will need to return to the House for another vote, where advocates for clean energy won’t be happy with a watered-down version.