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Senate Stops House-passed Energy Bill

Changes needed to get bill through Senate.

By a 235-181 margin, the House of Representatives passed the Energy Bill Thursday. The bill had been stalled for quite some time and had been all but written off, but leaders managed to work out a deal.

However; the Senate failed to invoke cloture Friday, falling seven votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate. The legislation faces a possible Presidential veto in large part because it includes a Renewable Electricity Standard, which would require 15% of electricity come from renewable sources. The administration also cites tax provisions in the bill as reason for the veto.

Senator Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee and committee chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., agreed that work needed to be done, but votes on the bill could come up this week.

"I do think that we can make some changes that would make this bill acceptable to a vast majority of senators," Bingaman says.

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