Continued from page 1

But the fight over oil shale could prove devastating to the amendment’s prospects. Earlier this week the House agreed to let lapse both the oil shale ban and a ban on some offshore oil drilling, opening the way for a dramatic expansion of oil exploration.

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, said there are more than 800 million barrels of oil from shale in states such as Colorado and Utah.

“The fact that Senator Reid would try to sneak a sweeping, previously discarded, anti-energy provision into an unrelated, temporary spending bill is just the latest indication of how out of touch congressional Democrats are with millions of struggling energy consumers,” Mr. Blunt said.

Mr. Reid’s office, though, said oil shale has proved not to be needed.

“Although Senate Democrats support measures to increase this nation’s energy supply, oil shale extraction has not been proven to be economically viable, will produce more greenhouse gases, and will significantly decrease the West’s water supply,” Reid spokesman Rodell Mollineau said.