Obama Mounts a Last-Ditch Attempt to Pass a ‘Hybrid’ Climate and Energy Bill

Joel Kirkland of ClimateWire
The New York Times
2/22/2010

The White House is mounting a last-ditch effort to piece together an energy and climate change bill that has enough incentives for nuclear power, natural gas and the coal industry to muster the votes needed to pass it this year.

As Democrats enter a turbulent and high-stakes political season, President Obama is striving for consensus on a path forward that can deliver substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions and satisfy concerns in the Senate about energy security. In an address to the nation’s top CEOs at a Business Roundtable meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Obama is expected to discuss his energy plans and, according to sources, roll out a proposal meant to incentivize coal-burning power plants to switch to cleaner-burning natural gas.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said the ongoing efforts are aimed at a bill that is a “hybrid of ideas” that would attract enough votes from fence-sitting Democrats whose states are heavily reliant on coal and from Republican ranks to secure passage through the Senate…

…He said both the White House and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), along with some industry and environmental groups, are moving with a “sense of urgency” toward a hybrid energy-climate bill because the time for passing legislation is already growing short in an election year. Graham has become the lead Republican deal-maker on such an approach. “Everyone realizes the window closes at some point,” Krupp said. “I think the package has to gel in the next couple of months for something to happen.”…

The complete article is at the New York Times.

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