Senate rejects two-year moratorium on emissions regulation

"What I want is some breathing space so we can take two years, so we can think together as a body and come together with an energy solution,” said Rockefeller. “I am ready for that. We need that time.”

But Sen. Ben Cardin (D-M.D.) said the bill would harm domestic-energy interests.

"The uncertainty of a two-year delay is more than two years and puts American energy at a disadvantage to foreign energy companies," Cardin said.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is a co-sponsor of the permanent ban, also criticized the plan, saying it simply delayed the inevitable.

"It doesn’t really accomplish anything. It just delays for two years,” said Inhofe. “If you are going to have a root canal, does it really help to wait two years?”