Energy Lobby Splits on Climate Change Bill, Chances of Approval Still Improve

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) — U.S. oil and energy producers, once united in their lobbying, are now split over proposed climate change legislation, analysts say.

With natural gas producers battling oil companies and utilities disagreeing over the use of coal and renewable energy, the chances of Congress passing laws to limit greenhouse gas emissions are improved, The New York Times reported Monday.

“It’s much harder to pass clean-energy legislation when big oil and other energy interests are united in their opposition,” Daniel Weiss, climate policy director at the liberal Center for American Progress, told the newspaper. “The companies that recognize the economic benefits in the bill can help bring along their political supporters.”

A major split has occurred between oil companies that oppose the legislation because it would result in higher prices and some natural gas companies, which are reportedly working with the bill’s sponsors to secure better treatment for their product.

“The fact that the lobbying is so fast and so furious is a positive sign that this thing is moving along,” Mark Brownstein of the Environmental Defense Fund told the Times. “The fact that everyone is rushing to Washington tells you people believe it is real.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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