Democrats Could Stand in the Way of Energy/Spill Bill
As I’ve reported, the piece of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) energy and oil spill response bill likely to gin up the most controversy is language disposing of the $75 million cap on oil companies’ economic liability in the case of a spill. Republicans oppose the proposal because they say it would essentially be a de facto drilling ban in the Gulf. Facing potentially billions of dollars in liability, only the biggest oil companies would be able to afford to drill.
But its not just Republicans that have a problem with the proposal. Politico notes today that at least two Democrats, Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (La.), are raising objections, and points to an AP report that says Begich is reviewing the Republican alternative and would be open to voting for it.
All of this makes prospects for passage of Reid’s scaled-down bill, which lacks key provisions, like a cap on emissions from electric utilities and a renewable energy mandate, seem slim.