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Senators to Unveil Climate Bill on Wednesday

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are expected to unveil their energy and climate bill on Wednesday, despite their former Republican partner saying it has “become impossible” to pass the measure due to immigration politics and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reports the New York Times.

Kerry and Lieberman issued a joint statement saying they had made progress on the needed 60 votes to pass the legislation that will set the first cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s statement says the oil spill has raised concerns about offshore drilling, which he thinks is an essential element of the legislation, reports USA Today.

Kerry, Lieberman and Graham initially planned to release their bill April 26 but was delayed after Graham complained that Democratic leaders were adding immigration to the Senate agenda for this year.

The Kerry-Lieberman climate bill is expected to set a 17 percent target reduction for CO2 emissions by 2020 from 2005 levels.

Initially, the three senators were considering revenue-sharing incentives for states, and a veto for drilling within 75 miles of a state’s shores, and no veto for drilling more than 75 miles out but Lieberman recently suggested that the plan may be changing due to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reports the New York Times.

The bill is expected to have support from General Electric Co., DuPont, FPL Inc. and American Electric Power Co. Inc., and three of the nation’s major oil companies — BP PLC, and ConocoPhillips.

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