Senate Dems to Push New Energy Bill Focused on Air Pollution

On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced plans to introduce a new energy bill in the coming days. This proposal is expected to include four parts: a section that deals with greenhouse gas emissions from the electric utility industry; an oil spill response section; a clean-energy and job-creation title; and an energy tax package.  

Reid has put aside a week to debate the measure later this month and will need 60 votes to move this comprehensive energy bill along and avoid a filibuster. Given the heated debate around previous “cap and trade” proposals, Reid’s measure will instead focus on reducing pollution from power plants, which produce the majority of air pollution in the nation and are responsible for a third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the narrowed focus, it is still unclear whether or not Reid can get the 60 votes needed to move the bill. Groups on both sides of the debate are weighing in and are anxious to see a draft proposal.