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Senate Fails to Resurrect Stalled Energy Bill

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  • P. Neuman self only
    ... From: janson2997 To: fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 07:53:42 -0000 Subject: [fuelcell-energy] Senate Fails
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2004
      --------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: "janson2997" <janson1997@...>
      To: fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 07:53:42 -0000
      Subject: [fuelcell-energy] Senate Fails to Resurrect Stalled Energy Bill

      Senate Fails to Resurrect Stalled Energy Bill
      Thu Apr 29, 2004 05:58 PM ET

      By Tom Doggett and Charles Abbott
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate, in a pair of party-line votes
      tinted by election-year politics, refused on Thursday to debate either
      reform of U.S. energy policy or a federal mandate to double the use of
      corn-based ethanol.

      The first overhaul of U.S. energy policy in more than a decade stalled
      in a Senate filibuster months ago. An Energy Committee spokeswoman
      said the bill was still alive despite the latest failure to break the

      On votes that followed party lines, the Senate blocked a Democrat-led
      proposal to attach the ethanol mandate to an Internet tax bill and a
      Republican alternative to paste a slimmed-down energy bill to the
      Internet bill. The ethanol language was one of the most popular parts
      of the energy bill.

      "Energy will be coming up again this spring but in a more appropriate
      forum," said Energy Committee spokeswoman Marnie Funk. She declared
      the votes were "a double victory" that prevented a splintering of the
      energy bill and avoided the complication of merging energy policy with
      Internet taxes.

      Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, author of the ethanol amendment,
      said Republicans abandoned ethanol. Last year, 68 senators voted for
      the requirement for use of 5 billion gallons of ethanol a year in
      2012, double current usage.

      Ethanol is popular in rural America, including South Dakota where
      Daschle is running for re-election. It is seen as a way to boost farm
      income and reduce U.S. reliance on oil imports.

      With 60 votes needed for victory, senators refused, 41-58, to prevent
      a filibuster of the ethanol plan. On a 55-43 vote, they failed to
      block a filibuster on the energy bill. There are 51 Republicans, 48
      Democrats and one independent in the Senate.

      "Both votes today had a lot more to do with politics than with
      policy," said an ethanol lobbyist. He said the votes showed strong
      support for ethanol and the energy bill if the issue was debated in a
      "serious" setting.

      When the Senate began work on Thursday, Majority Leader Bill Frist
      said he supported larger ethanol use but as part of an energy bill
      that also modernizes the nation's electric grid, backs an Alaskan
      natural gas pipeline and promotes renewable energy sources.

      "We should not break apart the energy bill and attempt to pass it
      piecemeal," said Frist, Tennessee Republican. "We in the United States
      need a comprehensive energy policy."

      The House of Representatives has passed energy legislation that
      differs from what the Senate has proposed.

      House Republican leaders demand the energy bill include protection
      against product-defect lawsuits for makers of methyl tertiary butyl
      ether (MTBE), a fuel additive and rival to ethanol, which is distilled
      from corn. Opposition to the MTBE language helped mire the energy bill
      in the Senate.



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