Handicapping the chances of passing an RES in the lame-duck session

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Monday, November 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

From the annals of “in case you missed it,” here’s some news on the energy front from TWI’s broad lame duck preview story this morning.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) talked last week about moving a renewable energy standard during the lame-duck session. But according to a senior Senate aide with knowledge of the conversation, it appears that Reid decided there isn’t enough support to do so.

From the story:

Backers of a renewable energy standard, which would require that a certain percentage of the country’s electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar, are keeping their fingers crossed that such a proposal can move in the lame-duck session. “We’re optimistic about the lame duck,” said one RES proponent who was not authorized to talk on the record.

Reid and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) spoke on the phone Tuesday about the possibility of moving an RES during the lame duck. Bingaman’s spokesman, Bill Wicker, would not discuss the call. “This was a private conversation between two Members, so I have to respect that,” he said in an email. “But we all should know more about the lame duck before much longer.”

But a senior Senate aide with knowledge of the conversation downplayed the possibility that an RES would be brought up for a vote during the lame-duck session. “They had a good conversation and agreed it will be challenging to get 60 votes for expedited consideration of an RES during the limited time left in the session,” the aide said of discussion between Reid and Bingaman. Indeed, RES supporters would need to secure the support of two to four Republicans in addition to the four who already support the bill in order to get 60 votes.

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