Senate Shelves Energy Bill That Would Have Aided Manufacturing

Slimmed-down legislation fails to create bipartisan support, unlikely to pass before Congress summer recess.

An energy-bill that would have invested heavily in renewable energy projects for U.S. manufacturers is unlikely to pass before Congress summer recess after Democrats were unable to secure the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster.

Democrats were attempting to pass a vastly slimmed down version of the legislation, without a renewable energy standard or carbon emission limits. Instead, it focused on establishing greater federal oversight of offshore drilling, encouraged the use of natural gas engines in commercial trucks and promoted high-efficiency appliances in homes.

But despite efforts to establish bipartisan support, Republican opposition was unified.

Its a sad day when you cant find a handful of Republicans to support a bill that would create 70,000 clean-energy jobs, hold BP accountable, and look at a future as it relates to what BP did, said Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Republicans had initially planned on offering an alternative bill that would have lifted the Obama administrations moratorium on deepwater drilling and set up a bipartisan commission to investigate the Gulf oil disaster and propose reforms.

According to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the Democrats plan was hastily cobbled together and lacked critical elements to foster support from across the aisle.

Sen. Reid is predictably blaming Republicans for standing in the way of a bill that he threw together in secret and without input from almost any other member of the Senate, said Murkowski, the top Republican on the energy committee. Process alone guaranteed its failure, although substance would have as well had Sen. Reid actually brought his bill up for debate or a vote.

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