Climate Legislation Continues To Languish in U.S. Senate
After months of delay
and uncertainty, the U.S. Senate appeared ready to move forward
and energy legislation last week with the introduction of a draft
outline of the bill known as the American Power Act, co-sponsored by
Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT).
But that was last week. Now the Senate bill appears once again to be in “legislative limbo,” and may not make any further progress for at least a month, according to Reuters.
The climate and energy legislation “is not the subject of any committee hearings; it's not being debated on the Senate floor; it's not even been formally introduced,” Reuters reports.
The bill was “barely mentioned” at a weekly policy luncheon meeting between Senate Democrats on Tuesday, and no Republican has stepped forward to replace Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as a co-sponsor or supporter of the bill. The bill must win the support of 60 senators in order to avoid the efforts of GOP stalwarts to block the measure through procedural barriers. At least one Republican will be needed to get to 60 votes, and that is assuming the Democrats remain united in support of the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) indicated to reporters that he plans to gather all 57 Senate Democrats and two independents for a meeting "where we will just talk about nothing but energy."
But he said he doesn’t plan to hold that meeting until the week of June 14th, when it is hoped that government agencies conducting economic analyses of the proposed legislation will have some findings to share.
Senator Kerry noted again Tuesday that BP’s Deepwater Disaster oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico "should also drive a serious national dialogue and a debate on legislation this year to advance our nation's clean energy future."
But some Senators remain pessimistic that the climate and energy bill will even make it to the floor this year. Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin told Reuters, "My feeling is it's not going to be coming up this year, but if it does I will dig into it at great depth."
Continued delays from the U.S. Senate won’t make life any easier for U.N. climate negotiators, who are scheduled to meet from May 31 to June 11 in Bonn, Germany to discuss how to advance a global response to climate change. Once again, international negotiations will be hindered by the lack of action from the U.S. Senate.
The outline of the bill is contained in this 987-page draft [PDF] released by Senator Kerry’s office last week.
Link to original post TckTckTck is an unprecedented global alliance, representing hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life. It is made up of leading international, national and local organizations addressing environment, development, poverty, human rights, health and humanitarian issues. It represents faith-based groups, youth groups, trade unions and individuals all calling for a fair, ambitious and binding climate change agreement in December 2009 in Copenhagen.
Other Posts by Richard Graves
The Energy Collective
- Rod Adams
- Scott Edward Anderson
- Charles Barton
- Barry Brook
- Dick DeBlasio
- Simon Donner
- Big Gav
- Michael Giberson
- James Greenberger
- Lou Grinzo
- Tyler Hamilton
- Christine Hertzog
- David Hone
- Gary Hunt
- Jesse Jenkins
- Sonita Lontoh
- Jesse Parent
- Jim Pierobon
- Vicky Portwain
- Tom Raftery
- Joseph Romm
- Robert Stavins
- Robert Stowe
- Geoffrey Styles
- Alex Trembath
- Gernot Wagner
- Dan Yurman