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Energy firms are unable to find unity over climate bill
WASHINGTON — As the Senate eyes global warming, the nation’s energy producers are splintering into competing camps battling over policy decisions worth hundreds of billions of dollars in coming decades.
Producers of natural gas are battling their erstwhile allies, the oil companies. Electrical utilities are fighting among themselves over the use of coal versus wind power or other renewable energy sources. Coal companies are battling natural gas firms over which should be used to produce electricity. And the renewable power industry is elbowing for advantage against all of them.
Some supporters of global warming legislation say the division in the once-monolithic oil-and-gas industry, as well as other splits among energy producers, could improve the prospects for the legislation.
“It’s much harder to pass clean-energy legislation when Big Oil and other energy interests are united in their opposition,” said Daniel Weiss, climate policy director at the liberal Center for American Progress. “The companies that recognize the economic benefits in the bill can help bring along their political supporters.”
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