Despite efforts by her staff to work with key Democrats on a utility-only climate bill, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is raising serious doubts that such a proposal can pass this year.
Speaking to reporters in the Capitol today, Snowe said, “That’s still an open question as to whether or not you can even accomplish [a utility-only bill] and achieve the kind of consensus necessary.” A better near-term option, Snowe said, is to pass a bill that focuses on “an energy plan with efficiency and conservation and renewables and perhaps from that you can reach the point of addressing utility-only as a possibility.”
For her part, Snowe said she has been “raising the idea” of a utility-only bill for months and acknowledged “talking” with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) about crafting a so-called “utility first” bill.
TWI today obtaineda months-old draft of a utility-only bill authored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s (D-N.M.) staff with input from Snowe’s office.