Dorgan continues push for 'energy-only' bill despite climate overhaul

"I want to bring the energy bill to the floor of the Senate," he told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday. "The way to lower emissions is actually to change the policies as we've done in the energy bill itself."

"We are not going to do cap-and-trade or a first cousin of cap-and-trade this year, in my judgment, but it would be unfortunate if we ended the year by not doing the things in energy policy that actually reduce the rate of carbon emissions. We have the capability of doing that and we ought to do it," added Dorgan, a senior member of the Energy committee who is retiring from the Senate at the end of this year.

The Energy committee plan includes a host of energy efficiency measures, wider financial support for low-carbon energy projects, a national renewable electricity mandate, and allows wider oil-and-gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, among other measures.