U.S. Senators remain under pressure to pass a cap-and-trade bill. According to Kevin Book, a Washington analyst with Clearview Energy Partners, failure to act would leave regulation in the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency. But a handful of Senators would like to abandon efforts to pass legislation curbing greenhouse-gas emissions this year and concentrate on a narrower bill to require use of renewable energy.
Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., says the problem of doing both of them together is that it becomes too big of a lift, and that cap-and-trade is a real problem. Joining Lincoln in pushing for putting off climate legislation until next year are Senators Ben Nelson, D-Neb, Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. has said that a bill stripped of climate provisions isn't likely to go to the Senate floor, but with those four Democratic senators' stance on the issue climate change in the Senate may be in trouble. Climate legislation would need 60 votes in the Senate to pass and those four votes would be necessary. Most Republicans and nearly 15 Democrats have already stated that they don't favor the House-passed version of the bill.
Book says the most likely outcome would be Senate action to head off control by the EPA or possibly passing a stand-alone energy legislation.