Energy plan could stall into 2004

Oct. 10, 2003 at 9:18 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate officials say bickering is likely to delay passage of a national energy policy until next year at least, the New York Times reported Friday.

Despite President George Bush's call for a plan this year, a spokeswoman for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee told reporters divisions between House and Senate Republicans over rules for the electricity industry, gasoline additives and subsidies for a gas pipeline in Alaska might not be resolved before Congress adjourns for the year.

"We recognize the possibility that this may take us into January," said Marnie Funk, who works for Sen. Pete Domenici, the New Mexico Republican who is chairman of the Senate panel and the House-Senate conference committee on the bill.

The comments came as Bush repeated in a speech in New Hampshire his call for the negotiators to finish the bill quickly.

"They must come together and get a bill to my desk before they go home for Christmas," he said.

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