August 1, 2008

Energy Bill Will Have to Wait

Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate said any action on an energy bill must wait until after the August recess since the two parties have been unable to agree.

Republicans want legislation to expand oil drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while Democrats are pushing for tax credits for alternative energy development and curbing oil speculation, The Hill reported.

The parties blamed each other for the impasse.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Republicans did not want to vote on a bill, while Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's spokesman accused Majority Leader Harry Reid of taking back an offer to let Republicans offer four amendments.

Schumer and several other House and Senate Democrats held a news conference Thursday after Exxon announced record profits. They said they had sent a letter to the five largest oil companies saying they were concerned the companies are using their profits to buy back their own stock instead of for oil exploration and alternative energy development.