US senators prepare to scale back energy bill

WASHINGTON — Authors of sweeping energy legislation that is stalled in the US Senate said Tuesday they were prepared to scale back their bill to get Republican support. They swiftly appeared to win a convert as a crucial moderate Republican said she might support a more targeted approach.
Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman made their comments after meeting at the White House with fellow senators and President Barack Obama, who is pushing for action in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
"We are prepared to scale back the reach of our legislation in order to try to find that place of compromise," Kerry, a Democrat, said after the meeting in which Obama urged senators to find common ground.
The bill by Kerry and independent Sen. Lieberman would tax carbon dioxide emissions produced by coal-fired power plants and other large polluters as a way to reduce pollution blamed for global warming. The legislation has been criticized by many Republicans as a "national energy tax."