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Energy bill stalls in U.S. Senate - International Herald Tribune

Republicans were able to stall a broad energy bill in the Senate on Thursday morning, prompting Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, to excise controversial parts of the measure in hopes of moving the legislation forward quickly.

The unsuccessful move to advance the bill failed by one vote. Supporters managed to get 59 "yes" votes, but 60 were needed to invoke cloture, or move to consideration of the bill itself. Forty senators voted "no."

Among other things, the bill would require automakers to meet a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, up from the current 25 miles per gallon. Supporters of the legislation hail it as the first meaningful improvement in fuel-efficiency standards in three decades.

The bill was approved by the House a week ago, 235 to 181, well short of the two-thirds needed to override a veto threatened by President George W. Bush. A key sticking point for the president and his Republican allies is some $21 billion in new taxes, mostly on the oil industry. Opponents of the new taxes argue that they will increase energy prices.

Before Thursday morning's cloture vote, Reid argued unsuccessfully that the bill as it stood would "start putting America on the path to a clear, safer and more affordable energy future," and "begin to break our country's addiction to oil, which forces us to do business with unstable governments and regions of the world."

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 12:48:32 AM EST
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