Senate Dems Say Energy Bill Out Early As Monday
Author: Timothy Gardner and Thomas Ferraro
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will unveil the pared-down energy bill focusing on reforming offshore oil drilling as early as Monday, a senior Democratic aide said on Friday.
The full Senate could begin consideration of Reid's pending bill on Tuesday and Democrats would like to pass it by the early part of the following week, another Democratic party aide said.
With the Senate set to begin a month-long recess on Aug 6, Democrats abandoned efforts on Thursday to put more complex climate-control measures in the bill at least until September.
The narrowed-down measure would hold BP Plc accountable for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and seek to prevent similar disasters, Reid said on Thursday. It will also contain incentives to convert trucks to run on natural gas and to increase energy efficiency.
Conservative Democratic Senator Ben Nelson, who has opposed much of President Barack Obama's agenda, said such a limited bill may well win Senate approval.
"I think there is a good likelihood that it will pass," Nelson said. "I'm looking for reasons to be supportive, not looking for reasons to be against it."
(Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)