Senate leader says no vote on climate bill this summer
WASHINGTON — Bowing to a lack of support, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday there would be no vote this summer on a bill that would put the nation’s first limits on the carbon pollution blamed for global warming.
The decision could doom the measure’s long-term chances as well.
If Democrats lose their narrow majority in the Senate in the November elections, they would have to relinquish the leadership power that would allow them to bring it up for a vote next year. Many — but not all — Senate Democrats support it, but not a single Republican has agreed to vote for it. A similar measure squeaked through the House of Representatives last year.
Instead of a broad energy and climate bill, Reid said there will be a vote before the Senate takes its August recess on legislation to increase liability on companies for oil spills, boost conversion of trucks from diesel to natural gas and create a program that would give home owners a price break on upgrades to save energy.
Reid said it was still possible there would be a fall vote on a climate bill. But he’d still face an uphill fight to get the 60 votes needed before the upcoming election.