May 12th, 2010
02:31 PM ET
4 years ago

Top senators introduce comprehensive energy bill

 Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts (left), and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut (right), introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill Wednesday.
Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts (left), and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut (right), introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) - Two leading senators on Wednesday introduced a sweeping energy and climate change bill intended to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while reshaping the energy sector for the 21st century.

Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, and Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who sits with the Democratic caucus, said the proposal offered a broad-based approach that would end the nation's dependence on foreign oil while keeping U.S. industry competitive.

The bill addresses a range of energy issues including expanded nuclear power production, incentives for the coal industry to seek cleaner methods, money to develop alternative energy sources and programs to help U.S. industry in the transition to a low-carbon system.

On climate change, the bill seeks escalating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades that match the levels set as goals by the Obama administration and contained in a separate House energy bill passed last year.

Although few expect the Senate to pass the bill before November's midterm congressional elections, its introduction was intended to keep up pressure for progress on addressing America's long-term energy needs while complying with global efforts to deal with climate change.

A Republican backer of the measure, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, withdrew last week from taking part in Wednesday's announcement because of what he called political gamesmanship by Senate Democrats in stating they would seek approval of an immigration reform bill before the energy measure.


Filed under: Energy • Environmental policy • Joe Lieberman • John Kerry
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Why don't we tax PROFITS from oil companies (that way they can't pass the cost to the consumer) and funnel the money straight to R&D/ construction costs for solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy?
    Kill two birds with one stone. Before you know it, we're carbon free.

    May 12, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Dano

    So Senator Graham decided to withdraw from a bill that addresses the future energy needs of the country because he was pouting over an entirely different bill being acted on first? When will these guys start acting like responsible adults rather than petulant children and put America's best interests ahead of their personal interests?

    May 12, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Sarcastic

    But no cap and trade i see.

    May 12, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Uh, they left one important detail out of the article: the price tag. All that stuff sounds cool, but if the proposal turns out to be just a fancy way to implement a huge new tax, like the cap'n'trade thing was, it's toast.

    May 12, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. jeff jackson, alabama

    62% of our senators are millionaires.
    I doubt if they are worried about increased
    energy cost to the average consumer.
    Out of touch with reality = TERM LIMITS !!!!

    May 12, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. stevegee

    Cap-and-Tax is the biggest scam in history! Global warming is a hoax perpetrated by leftist scientists and politicians.

    This so-called green legislation is just a way to fill the tax coffers of the federal government, and the bank accounts of the elite insiders who have invested in the carbon exchange (Obama is one of them).

    And guess who's going to pay the bill? The American People.

    May 12, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Chas in Iowa

    research all they want but I'm sick of the utility companies trying to get new power plant built now based on "clean coal technology".
    The main reason is at the present time "clean coal technology" is just a fable, a wish, a dream. It doesn't exist!
    A power company tried to get license in a town not far from my home to build a clean coal technology electric power plant. They almost got it done. When it came right down to it they had to admit all they were doing is building a regular coal burning power plant with alteration to be able to add the clean coal technology once it was developed.
    "clean coal technology" just a myth!

    May 12, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    What a freaking joke. Let me guess. It was written by the energy companies. Clean coal? Really? Global warming is a hoax? Really? The big carbon PR folks have done their job on ignorant Americans once again. I will laugh when your grandbabies are starving to death on a burned out cinder. We really deserve nothing less. Have a nice day!

    May 12, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Lead, Follow or Get Out of The Way

    The oil produced by American companies DOES NOT STAY HERE.

    It gets PRICED at the going OPEC rate and then is sold to whomever wants it.

    Energy & Climate bills must REDUCE America's reliance on all OIL. Period... That's the only to take money out of the pockets of Iranian-funded terrorists.

    Electric cars powered by wind turbines and solar generators that pump water into reseviors to store up energy so that it can be released to generate electricity whenever it is needed.

    May 12, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Kem

    There is nothing that Lieberman can do short of walking on water to keep him in office. Too little too late.

    May 12, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. annie s

    I trust John Kerry. On the other hand, anything Lieberman has his hand in is bound to be a major sell out to the corporate gods he worships and deserves to be looked at very, very carefully.

    May 12, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Dave

    It'a about time. This legialtion addresses numerous pressing concerns and I hope the Senate begins worknig on it ASAP. Hopefully Graham and a few other reasonable Republicans like Snowe and Collins will support this much needed bill.

    May 12, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Sarcastic

    Pardon that I'll believe science and reason over stevegee.

    it's not a hoax, those emails don't prove that it's not real.

    May 12, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. one voice

    Another great bill for the future health of our great country that the greedy GOP will try to block. CREAPS

    May 12, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Len Smith

    Good to see that these two senators are introducing the bill, even without the yellow belly Graham, who I do happen to think can be a good senator, but he is being blackmailed by the right. If there is anything we need, it is to address energy. It can put millions of people to work and bring our economy back, instead of the Chinese. And, as usual anything that would help the average American is being introduced by the Democrats, as they have thoughout my 67 years. Sorry, President Ike, built the highway system. He would not recognize the Republican party today, the party or NO NO NO

    May 12, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Joey

    Is this not the same thing the Republicans have been trying to do for years? Now that the Dems want to do it its all the sudden a great thing. Why then about 12 years ago did they block off shore drilling because they said we would not see benefits for ten years? and then they did the same thing in the last couple years. Remember Palin? She has been trying to push this for years yet the Dems have been telling her to shut up. Dems are pathetic. They try to say they come up with all these great ideas when in reality they steal them from Republicans.

    May 12, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. Ana

    Wonderful! I am disappointed that Graham did not took part in the announcement. I like him, even though he is a Republicans. I wish he would be independent senator because than he would not have to obey by the rules set by his crazy Republican Party colleges....

    May 12, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    BTW the climategate emails were investigated and found to be completely taken out of context. In context, they do nothing to disprove global warming or discredit the methodology. Of course these findings were buried on page 28 by the MSM. The findings are there if you do the research. I'm gonna invest in sunscreen futures. Have a nice day, uneducated consumerbots!

    May 12, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. thor

    They didn't address the issue with what to do with all the waste from nuclear power that is going to be created.Right now that is a huge problem with environmentalists.And then there is the safety issues that it brings.Just like drilling for oil there are down sides.

    May 12, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We need exanded use of solar, wind, tidal, goethermal and fission power. If we could put solar panels on the roofs of every building that didn't have some significant architechture (like a Frank Lloyd Wright building), then we could reduce that amount of energy needed during daylight hours. There are 4th generation fission reactors that are more stable and run better than older models like TMI. We also need new reactors that can use the waste materials from the older reactors; get it out of the waste pools. Much of the new renewable energy requires some R&D (fusion anyone?) which can be done here in the US which means jobs! If we can figure it out and build it here, that could get people into decent paying jobs.

    May 12, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Fat Finger culprit

    Here we go again, more government intrusion. More borrowing, more taxes and more lost jobs.

    I wish these politicians would just enforce the illegal immigration laws and leave everything else alone

    May 12, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. John

    you certainly are no expert... there still has been no scientific proof that carbon Dioxide is trapping heat and causing global warming. It is a nice theory built into the computer projections, but not something to wreck our eonomy over. Please discover all the ways to reduce our dependence on oil, develop them here, but do not destroy the economy as you do it. Also to Mr granchildren starving on a conder: the earth has been considerably warmer than this many time in its past, and life progressed. Basically witha warmer atnosphere and more CO2 we would be able to produce more food. Warmer environment also means more precipitation as the atmosphere can then contain more moisture.
    Besides there has been no documented rise in temp for the last 10 years.. which according to you theories should have been going up steadily withthe CO2 increase. Stop believing in the Goracle and all the others who have positioned themsleves to make a fortune and take over another part of our economy.

    May 12, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. PalmReader

    Now why would I want to waste my hard earn dollars in increased tax revenue to clear the air I breathe, the water I drink, and the food I eat of harmful toxins caused by big business?

    What the heck, eh GOPers . . . keep big business happy by all means, else what, more jobs will be sent overseas?

    May 12, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Geoff

    Did someone on here actually write that Sarah Palin has been pushing for alternate energy sources for years!!!!!! How can someone so easily forget "Drill Baby Drill"!!!!!

    May 12, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Fat Finger culprit May 12th, 2010 4:39 pm ET
    "Here we go again, more government intrusion. More borrowing, more taxes and more lost jobs.
    I wish these politicians would just enforce the illegal immigration laws and leave everything else alone"

    Because we all know "the market will regulate itself" and "the oil industry doesn't need any supervision" and "the insurance companies won't raise their rates", etc. Haven't we tried "government is the problem" since Reagan? When you do everything possible to make government weak and ineffective, guess what? You get a weak, ineffective government. How'd that work out for ya? Have a nice day!

    May 12, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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