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Another Republican May Break Ranks on Climate Bill

murkowskiThe Senate climate bill may have gotten another important ally in Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the ranking Republican on the Senate energy committee. However, for her to sign off on the bill, she would require the bill to be reworked to expand domestic oil drilling and provide more funding for nuclear power, according to the Hill.

After Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) going public with his climate bill consideration last week, Murkowski would be the second Republican to offer measured support for a compromise bill.

The Republicans’ demands for compromise are unlikely to please Democratic hardliners who aim to see the climate bill ween the U.S. off fossil fuels.

In a co-written guest column in the New York Times, Graham and Sen. John Kerry (D.- Mass.), said they “refuse to accept the argument that the United States cannot lead the world in addressing global climate change.”

The Senate version of the climate bill would push for a 20 percent cut in emissions by 2020, while the House version calls for a 17 percent cut by 2020.

Murkowski is noted for helping draft the American Clean Energy Leadership Act, which her committee passed in June. Some consider the legislation, which has yet to come to a broader vote, to be “weak and toothless,” however, reports CongressMatters.

Unlike some Republicans, she has said that “I believe it is a reality that man is contributing to the current warming trend.” She said she considered it a responsibility to “take steps to curb the growth of greenhouse gases.”

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