July 22, 2010 / 7:26 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Senate bill to implement offshore reforms next week

 * 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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