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Senators work on bipartisan climate bill
March 30, 2010
Three senior US lawmakers are piecing together a sweeping bipartisan energy and climate bill, which looks set to include sweeteners to galvanise support among Republicans and industry groups.
The proposed legislation, encouraged by President Barack Obama, dilutes a climate bill that stalled last year in the Senate. The senators have hosted meetings with industry groups over the past two weeks, revealing details about their plan that would cap carbon emissions while expanding offshore oil drilling and nuclear power generation.
Nearly six months have passed since the Senate’s most recent climate bill failed to win over conservatives and moderates, a political stalemate that cast a shadow on America’s presence at the Copenhagen climate summit. But some Democrats say the passage of healthcare reform has opened the door for climate change legislation, while acknowledging trade-offs will be needed to secure 60 Senate votes. “They know that to pass a comprehensive bill they will have to ease concerns of some special interests and mid-western senators whose states have manufacturing-oriented economies,” said Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal think-tank.
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