The climate change bill that was scheduled to be marked up in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is facing growing opposition not only from Republicans but also from some Senate Democrats.
The "cap and trade" bill is sponsored by Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts, and would require U.S. manufacturers, utilities and refineries to reduce their carbon pollution output 20 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels.
However, many lawmakers have expressed concerns about the possible impact of the bill on their regions’ utilities and consumers.
Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska told CNBC that he believed that "at the end of the day, the people who turn the switch on at home will be disadvantaged."
Meanwhile, a more powerful opposition is coming from the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus of Montana who said that while "we cannot afford the unmitigated impacts of climate change … we also cannot afford the unmitigated effects of legislation."
The developments come against the backdrop of calls from President Obama for the Senate to pass climate change legislation.
Speaking at the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Florida, the president also warned that "the closer we get to this new energy future … the more we’re going to hear from special interests and lobbyists in Washington whose interests are contrary to the interests of the American people."