WASHINGTON — A top aide to US President Barack Obama said there was virtually no chance Congress would have a climate and energy bill ready for him to sign before negotiations on a global climate treaty begin in December in Copenhagen, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The newspaper said the prediction was offered by Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, during an onstage interview in Washington.
It was the first definitive statement by the administration that it saw little chance of congressional passage of this bill this fall, the report said.
Lawmakers and environmental campaigners have cast similar doubts on the prospect in recent weeks, given the high priority put on health care legislation and the array of hearings that would be needed on the energy initiative, the paper noted.
Climate legislation was introduced in the Senate only Wednesday, three months after the House passed its version.
"Obviously we?d like to be through the process -- that?s not going to happen," Browner said at a conference on politics and history organized by The Atlantic magazine, according to The Times.
"I think we would all agree the likelihood you would have a bill signed by the president on comprehensive energy by the time we would go in early December is not likely," Browner is quoted as saying.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »