US Senate climate bill to be unveiled April 26

By Richard Cowan

 WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) – A long-awaited compromise bill to reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming will be unveiled by a group of senators on April 26, sources said on Thursday.

 The legislative language to be sketched out in 11 days, according to government and environmental sources, is being drafted by Democratic Senator John Kerry, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and independent Senator Joseph Lieberman.

 Backers of the environmental bill hope the unveiling will pave the way for the full Senate to debate and pass a measure in June or July if the compromise attracts enough support from a group of moderate Republicans and Democrats.

 Republican Senator Judd Gregg told Reuters he was “committed to getting something that addresses our energy needs in a constructive and comprehensive way.” He added he did not know yet whether he would support the bill being developed.

 President Barack Obama has made climate change one of his top priorities and took steps recently to show Republicans he was serious, including expanding federal aid for building nuclear power facilities and allowing more domestic offshore oil drilling — initiatives to be included in the Senate compromise.

 The White House is also eager to show the rest of the world the United States is ready to take a leadership role on global warming, including to help kick-start stalled international efforts to tackle the problem.

 Despite vocal climate change skeptics in the United States, leading scientific groups have been hoping the United States, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, would take action.

 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Thursday the world’s combined land and ocean surface temperatures in March were the hottest on record.

 Once the senators formally sketch out their bill, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will decide the next steps in a year crowded with competing legislative priorities and congressional elections in November.

 The bill could face stiff opposition from lawmakers in states with economies heavily dependent on oil and coal. The bill could face stiff opposition from lawmakers in states with economies heavily dependent on oil and coal.

To read more, visit: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N15202117.htm

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