The Senate will move on energy and environmental issues in 2010, but not cap-and-trade legislation, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asserted Tuesday.
Grassley said that the Senate is likely to take up an energy bill, perhaps including a renewable electricity standard, but not the controversial emissions reduction system approved last year by the House but left undone by the Senate.
"I think you can expect everything but cap-and-trade," Grassley said in a conference call with agricultural reporters. "I think it's fair to say that there will be an energy bill taken up."
The Iowa Republican said that the bill may include a renewable electricity standard as a key component, a provision which would require utility companies to generate a certain portion of their energy from renewable resources by a target date.
Grassley acknowledged that that provision may not necessarily be popular, but that there may be room for compromise among senators.
"Now I think it has a tough time getting through the Senate," he said. "I like renewable portfolio standards, and I would vote for some compromise in that area."
A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Jospeh Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), are also still hoping to cobble together compromise environmental legislation that would require emissions reductions, but also expand nuclear energy production and allow limited offshore drilling.