Democrats Unveil Senate Energy Bill

U.S Senate Democrats unveiled an energy bill on Tuesday, as expected, that did not include a cap on carbon emissions or a mandate requiring utilities to purchase renewable power.

The bill removes the $75 million liability cap on economic losses resulting from the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and it includes measures to promote the adoption of electric vehicles and home energy efficiency retrofits. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to bring the bill to the floor in the next few days, though some details still need to be worked out. 

Reid admitted the bill does not address the full scope of the nation’s energy concerns and that a comprehensive bill is still needed to address the threat of global warming. 

Most Capitol Hill watchers believe such a bill is not possible this year, and may not be possible at all if Republicans win additional Congressional seats in November. 

However, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs suggested climate provisions could be worked into the energy bill during conference between the House and the Senate, if it passes the Senate in its current form. 

President Barack Obama on Tuesday also renewed his pledge to work towards climate change legislation. "If we’ve learned anything from the tragedy in the Gulf, it’s that our current energy policy is unsustainable," he said. (Reuters reporting)

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