Possible Climate Bill Presentation Next Week - Again
Yes. No. Maybe. The bipartisan climate change bill crafted by Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman has had its series of stops and starts. However, it is once again at the starting gate carrying hopes it will get out of the gate and have its long awaited public roll-out.
The biggest hurdle for the bill is Republican support. Almost two weeks ago, Senator Lindsey Graham pulled out of the effort to get the bill introduced and passed. This was in response to the stated intentions of the Democrats to also push a totally unrelated immigration bill.
The Democrats have not acquiesced on the immigration bill, so Graham will not be part of the bill’s formal introduction. According to Senator Kerry, Graham “stands by” the bill, even if Graham is not there physically on the Senate podium.
The latest version of the climate bill includes modifications to ensure stronger protection provisions for future offshore oil drilling projects. Since Republican support was partially garnished through the original offshore drilling provisions, it is questionable whether Kerry and Lieberman will be able to persuade enough Republicans to vote for the currently modified bill. However, in light of the BP oil disaster, any plans to expand oil drilling are likely to result in swift opposition from Democrats.
More on the U.S. climate bill:
Bi-partisan compromise bill still changing
Big green groups support weak eco-legislation. Why?
Climate change bill competing for legislator's support
Compromise climate change bill delayed again
U.S. Climate bill moves forward with EPA analysis