Dems Offer Energy Bill Compromise

Senate Democrats are once again talking compromise on the energy bill, offering to remove a contentious provision that would require utilities to use a certain percentage of renewable energy but keeping $21 billion tax package that rescinds tax incentives for oil companies.

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said he expects a cloture vote on the bill on Thursday.

Even if the bill does pass the Senate, the White House has indicated it would veto the measure if the tax package was included.

Bingaman questioned why the White House would oppose the tax package, which he said extends some of the tax incentives for the industry that President Bush hailed as part of the 2005 energy bill.

“This is a very fundamental change in position that the administration is taking,” said Bingaman.