Lawmakers Anticipate Scaled Back Energy Bill

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska’s Senators say they want to see the details of top Senate Democrat Harry Reid’s plans for a scaled-back energy bill.  Yesterday Reid abandoned the effort to get climate change legislation passed this summer.  That frustrated environmentalists and disappointed liberal Democrats who want to see pollution from the nation’s power plants curbed.  Reid says instead he’ll unveil next week the details of a much smaller bill, focused instead on responding to the BP oil blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, and tackling some minor energy issues. Senator Begich says he needs to see more of what Reid has in store.

Begich says he wants to see how it’s paid for, and find out what the oil spill legislation entails.  Begich says he won’t support it if it curbs oil and gas exploration in Alaska.

Senator Lisa Murkowski’s spokesman on the Energy Committee, Robert Dillon, says Reid is including the Committee’s bill that deals with the BP oil spill and reforms the Interior Department, but that may not be enough to win her support.

Dillon says Murkowski wants to see her work last year on an energy bill advanced.  That includes pushing renewables, and controversial elements like nuclear power and offshore drilling.

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