Proponents were hoping an energy and environment bill would gain steam after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the prospects look increasingly dim, and climate change legislation remains in limbo in the Senate.
The most comprehensive climate change legislation, proposed earlier this year by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., included some incentives for offshore oil drilling to attract Republican support. But the environmental crisis on the Gulf coast nixed that deal. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., backed away from supporting the legislation even though he was one of the original sponsors of the bill.
Republicans, meanwhile, attempted to block Democrats' attempts at implementing any sort of "cap and trade" bill, which they say will stifle businesses.
Senate Republicans failed in their attempt in June to pass a bill that would have stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from oil-rich Alaska, argued that letting the EPA control emissions would create a new energy tax and kill jobs, and that it's Congress' job, not regulators', to set the levels.
Supporters of greenhouse gas emission caps argue just the opposite: that the EPA's actions will actually help create jobs.