The Peterson problem is just one of many that stand between the Waxman-Markey bill and the ultimate adoption of a climate bill.
Democratic lawmakers also differ over provisions in an energy bill being drafted by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which would open up the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling and would water down an Obama campaign proposal setting minimum requirements for the use of renewable energy.
The differences over touchstone issues in the bill could jeopardize its chances of passage by the full Senate, where Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. is threatening to filibuster it over the provisions for drilling off the Florida coast. Major environmental organizations are also leaning toward opposing the bill. In addition, executives from companies in the wind turbine business are lobbying hard for stiffer renewable energy requirements, arguing that they would be better off with requirements that have already been enacted by 28 states.