The Senate climate bill, which was to be unveiled today (April 26), has been sidelined by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s decision to walk away from Senate talks on climate legislation over the Democrats plans to work on immigration legislation this year, reports The Hill.
This has prompted Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is working with Graham and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on the bill, to call for a temporary postponement of the bill’s rollout. He hopes Graham will rejoin the initiative but plans to move ahead with it in either case.
This also sent lawmakers and interest groups who want climate legislation scrambling to resolve their differences, reports The Wall Street Journal. Graham’s decision to pull away from climate legislation also prompts some doubt about his support for an overhaul of immigration laws.
Graham’s decision came after Arizona’s governor signed new legislation that allows police in Arizona to stop and question people that they reasonably suspect are illegal immigrants, prompting Senators to push immigration legislation ahead of the climate bill, reports The Hill.
Most news reports say without Graham’s support the climate bill is likely to stall. Also, many believe the Senate will only have time before this fall’s elections to address one of the issues, according to The Hill.
Graham said he would abandon climate legislation unless it moved ahead of immigration on the Senate calendar, reports The Washington Post.
This is after months of work by the three senators to get business, industry and environmentalists to compromise on a bill, which included dozens of meetings with industry groups such as the American Gas Association, the National Mining Association and the Portland Cement Association, reports The Washington Post.
The bill is expected to have support from General Electric, at least three oil companies, and several large electric utilities that rely on coal for generation, reports Bellingham Herald.
In the meantime, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed legislation to regulate the $605 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market, which also calls for a study on the existing and proposed carbon markets, reports Business Week.