Several Democrats in the U.S. Senate are questioning whether it would be possible to vote on a climate change bill this year. Health care reform continues to be the top priority of lawmakers. Some believe legislation designed to better control the financial industry should come before the climate bill.
And then there is a bill awaiting action in the Senate that would require utilities to generate more electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar power, while also allowing expanded oil and gas drilling off Florida's Gulf coast.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has talked about coupling the energy bill with the more sweeping cap and trade climate legislation that still has not been unveiled. But, Senator Ben Nelson, D-Neb., told Reuters the energy bill could be passed as a stand-alone bill, calling it far less controversial and necessary.