The Senate climate change bill was unveiled Wednesday after months of partisan bickering and also the peevish defection of one of its main sponsors. Senators of Massachusetts, John Kerry, and Joe Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, presented a climate and energy package intended to limit climate change and promote clean energy jobs. Kerry said the climate change bill must be passed this year as it has something in it for everyone. But one of the vote-getting goodies within the climate bill is expanded off-shore drilling -- a provision that could instantly backfire considering the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico.
Not a good climate for change
Negotiations with lawmakers by Kerry and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, on the climate and energy bill appeared to be humming along until just last month. Graham all of the sudden withdrew his support of the energy legislation under pressure from GOP true believers. Right Wing enforcers were really upset with Graham for giving Democrats installment loan of Republican support. As an excuse, Graham gave an oblique reference to immigration politics. Unfortunately, numerous Republican votes left with Graham.
Clean energy stained by oil
When the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico erupted last month, one of the big vote-getting goodies within the climate and energy package -- incentives to increase domestic offshore drilling -- was rewritten. The New York Times says that rather than providing for a broad expansion of offshore drilling, the Kerry-Lieberman bill will end up giving coastal states the right to veto any drilling plan that could possibly cause environmental or economic harm. Graham had a hand in drafting the original oil drilling provision.
Energy legislation draws a big crowd
A swarm of lobbyists have been attracted by the Senate Climate change bill. Oil companies have spent millions of dollars trying to stop the bill from passing. Clean energy producers with investments in low-carbon nuclear power, natural gas or wind and solar power are trying to make themselves rich off the Senate climate bill. Reuters reports that green energy utilities such as FPL Group, Duke Energy and Exelon have lobbied alongside environmental groups for the climate change bill, along with General Electric, a manufacturer of clean coal and natural gas systems for power plants and wind turbines.
Clean energy and green jobs
Kerry's presentation of the Senate climate change bill had along with it a blog on the Huffington Post asking for public support. Kerry claims the climate and energy bill package will help create nearly 2 million new green energy jobs, develop new products, and support the research and development required to help the U.S. maintain leadership within the global economy. He also claims the climate bill as written will reduce the deficit by about $21 billion in nine years.
Senate and Climate Change?
Kerry conveys a sense of urgency for clean energy and green energy jobs, saying it’s long overdue for The United States to lead on climate change. He vows to mount a "full court press" to pass the energy legislation in 2010. But Kerry wants to add a lot more pressure to a Congress that happens to be paralyzed from dealing with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, immigration reform, financial reform, an upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle and a sputtering economic recovery.
The New York Times