Climate Bill Passage in U.S. Senate Increasingly Unlikely


Passage of climate change legislation in the U.S. Senate appears increasingly unlikely in the face of divisions among Democrats and stiff opposition by Republicans, the Washington Post reports.

Top Democrats have been unable to enlist key Republican lawmakers to support the bill, which would create a cap-and-trade system and gradually cut the level of carbon emissions allowed. One of the key Republicans targeted to back the bill, Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, has instead led the opposition, organizing a boycott of the bill’s markup at a hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee last week.

In recent days, Democrats have offered to include amendments to make the bill more palatable to lawmakers on the fence by accelerating the approval of new nuclear power plants. But even that may not be enough. A spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, another lawmaker targeted by Democrats, said a “tepid nuclear title isn’t enough to get her to support a bad climate bill.” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said a compromise remained possible since Americans are not divided on party lines when it comes to climate change. “Is there bipartisanship in the country? I think clearly there is,” Udall said.

Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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