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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