May 6th, 2010
11:53 AM ET
4 years ago

Kerry, Lieberman to pursue climate change measure

Sen. Joe Lieberman will partner with Sen. John Kerry to resurrect climate change legislation.
Sen. Joe Lieberman will partner with Sen. John Kerry to resurrect climate change legislation.

Washington (CNN) - Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are working to resurrect long-planned climate change legislation that got knocked off track last month after Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham abandoned plans to participate.

Two Senate sources familiar with the plans confirm that Kerry, D-Massachusetts, and Lieberman, I-Connecticut, will likely hold a press conference next week to announce their bill. But Kerry told CNN Thursday that the details of when to unveil it are still being worked out.

One of the sources said that Kerry continued to hold meetings with colleagues, business and environmental leaders and others even after original plans for a bipartisan bill with Graham crumbled.

"We have a bill and we want people to see it," said the source.

Looming large over this legislation is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The broad measure is expected to include proposals to expand both on- and offshore oil drilling.

Sources familiar with the senators' plans say Kerry and Lieberman intend to keep those proposals in their bill, but they understand safety regulations and standards will and should be scrutinized and added to their legislation in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has vowed to filibuster any legislation that includes an expansion of offshore drilling.

Kerry, Lieberman and Graham were set to announce their bill April 26, but abruptly cancelled their news conference after Graham angrily withdrew because of a dispute with Democratic leaders over immigration reform.

The South Carolina Republican was furious that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had signaled he wanted to try to take up immigration reform in the Senate before climate change.

"Moving forward on immigration - in this hurried, panicked manner - is nothing more than a cynical political ploy," Graham wrote in a sharply worded letter April 24.

Now, Kerry is hoping that there has been some time for "immigration politics settle out," according to the source familiar with the plans, and that even if he doesn't attend next week's possible announcement, that perhaps ultimately Graham would be on board.

"Senator Graham stands by this bill," Kerry said Thursday when asked if Graham is still supporting the legislation. However, Kerry added that he doesn't necessarily expect Graham to be at the unveiling because "we still have immigration issues."

A spokesman for Graham has not yet returned CNN calls for comment.

Some Democratic sources suggest that, despite the renewed push, it's unlikely that climate change legislation will make it to the Senate floor this year.

–CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


Filed under: Energy • Joe Lieberman • John Kerry • Lindsey Graham • Senate
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. MAD 'MAX' TEXAN

    Who would be foolish to give either of these two crediability?

    May 6, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Gerald

    Climate change is the new buzz word for wealth redistribution, do not believe this hoax.

    May 6, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. educated american (legal)

    Who is the Chicago Climate Exchange?

    Who created it?

    Who created this Cap & Trade bill?

    Who looks to make alot of money if this bill gets passed?

    Interesting, it's the same people... CRIME INC.

    Joel Sustien 'the Wizard" said it himself, 'if they took the entire energy production sector, and the entire transportation sector, and shut them down completely, you still wouldn't be at 68% of 1990 levels of emmisions"

    "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." —Thomas Jefferson

    May 6, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Limbaugh is a Liberal

    Graham abandoned the climate bill not because he actually has any belief for or against the legislation, but because he needed an excuse, ANY excuse to suppress talking about immigration reform. So he took an unrelated legislation that he co-sponsored, and used it to make a big show of denying the immigration bill. Why? Because if immigration debate makes it onto the air the facts will come to light! The fact that republicans for the past decade have ignored the issue, and in some worse cases, even supported Bush's plans for a 'guest worker' program and accelerated path to citizenship, things that are very unpopular with conservatives right now. Imagine if the debate actually took place and republicans were exposed for the hypocrites they are, showing they were the ones who were actually far too liberal on immigration!

    May 6, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Peter E

    It is colder today in my town than it was last week! Hence the theory of seasons by pompous scientists is a lie! I am smarter than a scientist who worked on the topic for decades despite the fact that I haven't taken a science class since high school, and even then I barely passed! And because some comments by a few isolated scientists, taken out of context, and editorialized by pundits, look ominous and sinister, therefore all scientists lie! Oh, and I get my scientific facts from Rush Limbaugh and Foxnews, both of whom are better scientific authorities than all the world's scientists combined! (I wonder how many people will not even get the sarcasm in my comments and will try to agree with me)

    May 6, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. defensible energy

    Defensible energy are distributed sources on american soil. NOT deep water oil rigs and NOT long exposed pipelines across alaska and canada. NOT huge projects that republican oil companies and wall street banks love, but smaller, closer to the demand (cities). Spread jobs for the energy push across all states

    May 6, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    So Kerry is working on climate change. What, is he resigning from the Senate? We are talking about the climate in Congress, right? No? The environmental climate? Sorry, My bad!

    May 6, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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