House, Senate strike deal on energy bill

Nov. 14, 2003 at 6:30 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- House and Senate Republican negotiators reached a compromise Friday on the hotly debated comprehensive energy bill.

In a Capitol Hill news conference Friday, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, announced that a compromise had been reached after two months of deliberations.

The energy bill had been delayed by negotiations on such issues as the future of coal, nuclear power and energy conservation. Democrats were angered by the fact that they have been shut out of negotiations, while Vice President Cheney was forced to broker an 11th hour deal to restart stalled talks.

A vote could come as soon as Tuesday on the compromise in the House, where it faces little opposition. The real contest is in the Senate, where Democrats have threatened to filibuster or otherwise block the proposal.

Few details about the bill were made public Friday. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said that Democrats would have to read the legislation over the weekend when it would be made available on the Internet.

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