‘Last, best shot’ for Cap and Trade this year

Moment of truth for energy bill
Coral Davenport

The next three weeks represent Democrats’ last, best shot at getting an energy and climate change bill passed this year.

In the White House and the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, it’s moment-of-truth time. People on every side of the energy debate say that Reid must unveil a concrete plan backed by a full-court press from the president this week, or the entire effort will fall apart in the run-up to the midterm elections.

After weeks of indecisive caucus meetings and passionate but vague speeches calling for “comprehensive energy legislation,” Reid’s office on Friday assured POLITICO that clarity, at long last, is coming.

The majority leader is set to meet this week with the five Senate committee leaders who hold jurisdiction over slices of energy and climate legislation. He will give them a scaled-down menu of options prepared by his staff and tell them to assemble an energy package that could get 60 votes. The options will break down into three core elements, and the question will be how the leaders choose to combine them.

The first and easiest piece is a Gulf-spill response measure to reform offshore drilling and raise disaster liabilities on oil companies. “That one’s must-pass,” said Scott Segal, an energy lobbyist at Bracewell & Giuliani, echoing the sentiments of congressional staff members on both sides of the aisle.

The article continues at Politico.com

H/T Pat Dollard

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