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MIT Technology Review

Energy Bill Consigned to Lame Duck Session

Senator Reid hopes to garner votes for a limited energy bill after the elections. But cap and trade is out of the picture.

August 31, 2010

When the Senate comes back from its summer recess on September 11th, the energy bill that was dropped before vacation will still be dead in the water.

In a conference call today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he and other senators will continue to modify the bill in an attempt to win votes. This may include adding a standard that would require States to use a minimum amount of renewable energy. Reid said he hopes such modifications will entice Republicans to vote for the bill after the elections this fall, when Congress is in its “lame duck” session.

“Now it’s a time out period,” Reid said. “We’ll see if we can come up with something before the end of the year. I’m confident we can, and we should,” he said.

The bill, which includes provisions to promote home energy retrofits, electric vehicles, and natural gas trucks, will not include a cap and trade system for decreasing carbon dioxide emissions. Cap and trade, he said, “doesn’t have the traction that a lot of us wish it had.”