Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), acknowledging that he lacks the votes to pass a comprehensive energy and climate-change bill, has decided to pursue narrower legislation. At press time, Reid was poised to introduce a scaled-back measure that he hopes will move to the Senate floor before the August recess. He says, “This is not the only energy legislation we’re going to do. This is what we can do now.”
Reid’s bill has five elements: holding BP “accountable” for the Gulf oil spill; incentives for converting diesel-fueled heavy trucks to natural-gas power; rebates to spur energy-efficient improvements in homes; spending hikes for the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and boosting the tax oil companies pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.