Citing a lack of bipartisan support, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) announced last week that his party has abandoned its efforts to pass a comprehensive energy bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Reid and other Democrats were forced to walk away from the legislation after it became obvious that the measure would garner virtually no Republican support, a development that the senator called "terribly disappointing."
If passed, the bill would have allowed the Federal government to charge power plants and other manufacturers for the number of greenhouse gases that they emit.
The proposal has been referred to by Republicans as a "national energy tax" that would cripple the already weakened economy, Yahoo News reports. GOP leaders have argued that capping emissions would force energy providers to move their businesses overseas and, at the very least, compel them to charge consumers higher fees.
Furthermore, with the November elections only a few months away, it was still unclear how many Democrats would actually support the bill.
"Reid can hardly blame Republicans for opposing legislation that would raise energy prices on Americans, when his own party doesn’t even support the idea," Robert Dillon, GOP communications director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told The Washington Post.
However, Senate Democrats indicated that they plan on crafting a more modest piece of legislation that would, among other things, increase the liability that oil companies have following major oil spills.