Democrats consider big gamble on global warming plan

Susan Ferrechio
Washington Examiner

On the heels of their improbable passage of a massive health care bill, Democrats are weighing an ambitious global warming bill that few lawmakers were even willing to consider just months ago.

“After seeing health care reform pass, it seems to me they can pass any bill they want if they set their minds to it,” said Marc Morano, a global warming skeptic and former top aide to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.,

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are expected to unveil their bill the week of April 19 in order to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has suggested he’ll try to tackle it this year.

“The leader has been wonderfully committed to making this congress the one that finally passes comprehensive energy and climate legislation,” Kerry spokeswoman Whitney Smith told the Washington Examiner.

But Reid stopped short of promising to bring the bill to the Senate floor. Whether he does so will depend on how much support he can get from within his own caucus, where he will likely meet opposition from lawmakers representing oil and coal producing states as well as tax-averse moderates.

The bill calls for reducing carbon emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The bill aims to draw in moderate Democrats and Republicans by expanding off-shore drilling, nuclear energy and clean-coal initiatives, though on a limited scale.

“What they are doing is really delivering on all the things both sides of the aisle have promised to do and have campaigned to get done,” said Tony Kreindler, spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund. “The chances of us getting a sensible energy bill out of this Congress are as good as they have ever been.”

The article continues at the Washington Examiner.

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