Washington (CNN) - Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman announced Friday that they will unveil long-planned climate change legislation Wednesday, but they'll move forward without support from a key Republican they've worked with for months.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, indicated that he's not on board with Kerry and Lieberman's bill. Graham said he believes that the legislation, which includes an expansion of offshore drilling, won't garner enough votes because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"When it comes to getting 60 votes for legislation that includes additional oil and gas drilling with revenue sharing, the climb has gotten steeper because of the oil spill," the GOP senator said in a news release.
"I believe there could be more than 60 votes for this bipartisan concept in the future," Graham added. "But there are not nearly 60 votes today and I do not see them materializing until we deal with the uncertainty of the immigration debate and the consequences of the oil spill."
Sources familiar with the senators' plans say Kerry, D-Massachusetts, and Lieberman, I-Connecticut, intend to keep proposals to expand oil drilling, but they understand that safety regulations and standards will and should be scrutinized and added to their legislation in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama is ordering Interior Secretary Ken Salazar "to conduct a thorough review" of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and subsequent oil spill.
Speaking Friday at the White House, the president ordered Salazar to "report back to me in 30 days" on any "precautions in technologies" needed to prevent such accidents in the future.
"We're going to make sure that any leases going forward have those safeguards," Obama said. "We've also dispatched teams to the Gulf Coast to inspect all deep-water rigs and platforms to address safety concerns."
(CNN) - Despite a new bipartisan push on climate change, legislation on the issue is unlikely to make it to the Senate floor this year, two Senate Democratic sources tell CNN.
That would be a blow to three senior senators set to unveil a much anticipated bipartisan measure dealing with climate change Monday morning.
The main reason sources say the prospects for the legislation are dim is because Senate Democratic leaders have decided to try to put immigration reform first on the agenda, and after that there likely won't be an appetite for another politically divisive issue before November's election – especially with a Supreme Court nomination ahead and a desire to stay focused on the politically potent issue of jobs.
The Democratic sources said the feeling in the Senate Democratic leadership is that immigration has more of a political upside for Democrats for several reasons.
Washington (CNN) - Several environmentalists expressed disappointment and dismay over President Barack Obama's decision Wednesday to open key Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters to oil and gas drilling.
"I'm extremely disappointed," said David Rauschkolb, a Florida restaurant owner who organized anti-drilling rallies last month at several Gulf coast beaches.
"Florida's legacy is clean water, clean beaches, sunshine and tourism. Every oil rig is a threat to tourism and coastal well-being. ... All it takes
is one spill."
One leading critic of offshore drilling, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, vowed to fight Obama's plan.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – A sharply divided House of Representatives debated passage of a White House-backed climate change bill Friday as Democratic leaders made a final push among members worried about the legislation's potential economic and political fallout.
"We're getting there," House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, told CNN. "We're on the eight (yard line). First and goal."
The bill would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap-and-trade" program under which companies would buy and sell emissions credits.
Among other things, the bill would also require utilities to generate an increasing amount of power from renewable sources.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democratic leaders are furiously lobbying their members and moderate Republicans to support a landmark energy bill in the face of resistance from some conservative members of their own party, and staunch opposition from the GOP - roadblocks that are making it difficult to find the 218 votes necessary to pass the measure, according to Democratic leadership aides.
A vote on the Clean Energy and Security Act, which would restrict emissions of green house gases and require use of alternative energy in an effort to slow the effects of global warming, is scheduled for Friday.
The legislation's lead sponsors held a pep rally outside the Capitol on Wednesday to whip up support for the legislation's passage.
"We are going to pass the most important energy and environment bill in history," declared Rep Ed Markey, D-Masachusetts, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "We are going to reduce the carbon we send up into the atmosphere but at the same time we are going to begin to back out the oil that we import from countries that we should not be importing it from."
The legislation would require a 17 percent emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2020, mandate electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources by 2020, provide $90 billion for new investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with $60 billion for carbon capture and sequestration. Another key provision, termed "cap-and-trade," would require industries and manufacturers to cut carbon emissions by setting up a system where they could buy and sell pollution credits.
(CNN) – Man-made climate change threatens to stress water resources, challenge crops and livestock, raise sea levels, and adversely affect human health, according to a strongly-worded report from the Obama administration released Tuesday.
The nearly 200-page document on global climate change - released by the White House science adviser and mandated by Congress - does not include new research, but encompasses several recent studies on the effects of global warming over the last half century.
Among the report's key findings are an "unequivocal and primarily human-induced" rise in the earth's temperate of 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 50 years, and a projection of more rapidly changing temperatures over the next several decades.
The continuing temperature rise is likely to spur a series of negative consequences for the Earth's energy supply, water, transportation, ecosystems and health, the report also states.
"[The report] tells us why remedial action is needed sooner rather than later, as well as showing why that action must include both global emissions reductions to reduce the extent of climate change and local adaptation measures to reduce the damage from the changes that are no longer avoidable," said John P. Holdren, the White House science adviser.