The Kerry-Graham Partnership: A Breakthrough?

by mpabst - October 12, 2009

Each day, we wade into heaps of information, scavenging for quotes, op-eds and press statements that will foretell the fate of climate change legislation in Congress.

Meanwhile, a doomsday clock counts inexorably toward Dec. 7 � the zero hour when nations at the Copenhagen climate summit will either jeer America�s ignominious failure to pass a law or cheer it for reclaiming the leadership in saving the world.

Each new development in Congress changes the predicted outcome of the summit.

For example, Climate Change Czar Carol Browner said on Oct. 1 that President Obama will not have a law on his desk by early December. The summit will be a disaster, .

Then on Sunday, there was when a New York Times op-ed penned by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, announced that they had �found a framework for climate legislation to pass Congress.�

This nascent bipartisanship , who thinks Copenhagen might yet be saved, but does it mean we’re going to see a bill pass anytime soon?

The Kerry-Graham statement lays out several compromises that could bring some Republican votes on board to the bill Kerry is sponsoring with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

We already knew that any successful bill will be founded on a market-based system that would ease power companies into compliance and protection for consumers from price shocks.

But now we learn that nuclear power will be a �core component of electricity generation� and America needs to become �the Saudi Arabia of clean coal.�

Oh, and onshore and offshore drilling are officially back on the table

Politico�s Lisa Lerer on the bill�s near-term prospects despite these concessions, though she bases this conclusion on legislators� previous statements and not any response they may have to the Kerry-Graham piece.

Take, for example, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, who has been identified as a possible �aye� because she sponsored climate change legislation in the past.

Murkowski all last week at National Journal Online�and wrote that �the Senate should emphasize meticulous debate of climate policy over hasty passage.�

This does not sound like a woman who wants to move quickly.

But, hey, maybe Lindsey Graham knows something we don�t. You have to hope he does if he�s putting out statements like this.

We are confident that a legitimate bipartisan effort can put America back in the lead again and can empower our negotiators to sit down at the table in Copenhagen in December and insist that the rest of the world join us in producing a new international agreement on global warming.

As Master Yoda said, �Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.�

6 Responses to “The Kerry-Graham Partnership: A Breakthrough?”

  1. [...] The Kerry-Graham Partnership: A Breakthrough? &nbsp [...]

  2. [...] green energy. The Kerry-Boxer climate change bill is surging forward on nascent, though fragile, support from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Alaska�s Lisa Murkowski is making encouraging [...]

  3. [...] climate change legislation has gone from pie-in-the-sky improbability to a concrete measure that can attract Republican support, it�s instructive to watch Exxon adjust its [...]

  4. [...] include more nuclear and offshore drilling provisions, which we expected after Kerry and Graham wrote an editorial in The New York Times saying they would include [...]

  5. [...] these reporting requirements are the result of� climate change legislation or regulated (and the Environmental Protection Agency has clearly signaled that it will not shy [...]

  6. [...] would not attract the votes necessary to pass. The measure is based, in part, on an agreement Kerry struck with Graham back in October that would give nuclear, clean coal and domestic drilling a privileged [...]

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