Reid gives up on watered down energy bill before break

A day after federal officials estimated BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill set the worst kind of record by pumping nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and the same day BP moved to permanently seal the offending well, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday threw in the towel on energy reform legislation meant to clean up the oil and gas industry.

The Washington Independent Tuesday evening reported Reid made the decision after concluding he doesn’t even have enough votes to pass the significantly stripped-down package of reforms similar to the bill the House passed late last week.

The Senate version would have included hydraulic fracturing disclosure language and the House version would have reorganized the scandalized Minerals Management Service and eliminated “categorical exclusions” that allow oil and gas companies to skirt federal environmental review.

The Senate may take up the fight again after the August break that begins Friday, but passage in September stunningly seems like a long-shot despite the worst oil spill in U.S. history and another spill last week in Michigan that dumped nearly 1 million gallons in a tributary of the Kalamazoo River.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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