Reid Won’t Rule Out Energy Bill With a Renewable Energy Mandate

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on a conference call today that he is still working on energy legislation and that he has not ruled out including a renewable energy standard in that bill. The news is sure to please the renewable energy industry, which has been lobbying Congress on the issue in recent weeks.

Reid had previously said he did not have the votes to pass such a standard, which would require that a certain percentage of the country’s electricity be produced from renewable energy sources. Instead he proposed an oil spill response bill with narrow energy provisions.

But he suggested on the call today that he has some Republican support, saying he is talking to two Republicans on the issue, though he was mute on the details.

Reid was clear however that the bill, which he said might be able to pass after the November mid-term elections, won’t include any sort of emissions cap on carbon emissions, because that idea does not have the necessary support for passage, he said. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and others had worked for months to craft a climate change bill that could pass. But negotiations on the bill collapsed when it became clear the bill could not garner 60 votes.

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