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14 Aug 2009: Four Democratic Senators
Call For Postponing Cap-and-Trade Bill

Four Democratic U.S. senators are calling on their leadership to pass legislation setting renewable energy targets but to postpone the key element of a major climate and energy bill, which would put a cap and a price on carbon dioxide emissions. The move by the senators — Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, both of North Dakota — could pose a major challenge for cap-and-trade legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives in June and is now before the Senate. Referring to the renewable energy and cap-and-trade provisions, Sen. Lincoln told Bloomberg News, “The problem with doing them both together is that it becomes too big of a lift. I see the cap-and-trade being a real problem.” The Democrats control 60 seats in the 100-member Senate, but because of procedural reasons will need 60 to pass the bill. Despite the reluctance of the four Democratic senators, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to bring the legislation to a vote. Meanwhile, details continue to emerge about how the American Petroleum Institute and other interests plan to hold town hall meetings across the U.S. in late August to rally opposition to the cap-and-trade bill.

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