UPDATE 1-Senate bill to implement offshore reforms next week

Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:23pm EDT

 * BP to be held "accountable" for spill
 * Bill seeks to cut U.S. oil imports
 (adds comments from Senator Reid, spokesman for Senator
Murkowski)
WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid said on Thursday he will unveil an energy bill next week
that will implement offshore drilling reforms.
 Reid said the bill "will hold BP (BP.L) accountable" for
its historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 "One, we will hold BP accountable. We will ensure it pays
to clean up its mess, and we will put forth measures to prevent
a disaster like this from ever happening again," Reid told
reporters.
 The energy bill will seek to cut U.S. oil imports by
promoting trucks that run on natural gas. It will also promote
energy efficient homes and businesses.
 The legislation will not however include language that
would require U.S. utilities to generate more of electricity
supplies from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
 Reid will focus on energy-only legislation due to a lack of
support to also deal with a climate change bill, which is being
delayed until the fall.
"Unfortunately at this time we don't have a single
Republican on board," for a bill that would contain climate
provisions, like carbon caps or mandates for power plants on
alternative energy, Reid told reporters.
 Reid declined to answer reporters on how many of his fellow
Democrats support a climate change bill, a spokesman for
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy
and Natural Resources Committee noted.
 "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," Murkowski's spokesman said of a
climate bill.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Tom Doggett; Editing by
Alden Bentley and Sofina Mirza-Reid)






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