Conceding that they lack the votes--at least for now--to pass a comprehensive energy and climate-change bill, Senate Democrats instead will propose narrower legislation.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said July 22 that he soon will introduce a scaled-back measure that includes more accountability for oil spills and a handful of other targeted provisions.
After meeting with his fellow Senate Democrats, Reid told reporters that there are no Republican votes at present to support a wide-ranging energy measure.
Reid said that "in the next few days" he will introduce a four-part energy package and that it would move to the Senate floor before the August recess.
He said the bill will include provisions to "hold BP accountable" and make sure that it cleans up the Gulf oil spill; language to spur conversion of diesel-fueled heavy trucks to natural gas; "Home Star" legislation to stimulate energy-efficiency improvements in homes; and increased spending for the Land and Conservation Fund.
Reid also said he would continue to work to get more lawmakers to support a broader energy bill.
Referring to the planned four-part bill, Reid said, "This is not the only energy legislation we're going to do. This is what we can do now."