U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will likely face increased difficulty putting together a 60-vote supermajority on the controversial climate bill, reports Politico. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Thursday he would not support a procedural vote later this month to begin debate on the climate bill that includes a cap on electric utility emissions.
Citing significantly higher utility rates in Nebraska for businesses, agriculture and individuals, Nelson said “I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to go. And while I’d usually vote for a motion to proceed, this is so extraordinary, that I just can’t bring myself to do that.”
Nelson has long been known as an opponent of proposals for tackling greenhouse gases with a cap-and-trade plan. But his opposition to the procedural vote stands out given party discipline that at least allows the majority leader to take a bill up on the floor. Environmentalists tracking the debate said earlier this week that they expect most Democrats will vote for the motion to proceed out of deference to Reid and President Barack Obama.