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President Obama praised the bill, saying the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico underlined the need for energy reform.

“For too long, Washington has kicked this challenge to the next generation,” Mr. Obama said in a prepared statement. “This time, the status quo is no longer acceptable to Americans.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose chamber passed its own version of the bill last year, urged senators of both parties to pass the measure “so that we can work together to send finalized legislation to the president’s desk.”

But the bill faces significant opposition in the upper chamber, where approval from 60 of the Senate’s 100 members will be needed.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who helped draft the bill with Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lieberman, Connecticut independent, walked away from negotiations last month over a disagreement on immigration reforms.

Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the only Republican to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Environment and Public Works Committee, said the bill was deeply flawed.

“Families in Wyoming and across America have made it clear: They want more jobs, cheaper energy and lower taxes. This bill doesn’t reflect these important priorities, [and] in fact it does exactly the opposite,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, applauded the bill but acknowledged that changes may be needed in order to woo enough support for passage.

“I welcome the ideas of my colleagues to strengthen this proposal,” he said. “To be successful we will need significant bipartisan cooperation.”