Breaking: Reid demands climate bill ASAP

Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has instructed Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to produce a revamped climate bill as soon as possible, according to sources, a task Kerry intends to accomplish within two weeks.

So the Washington Post reported at 7:37 pm ET, at their cleverly (ironically?) named Post Carbon site.

Looks like Reid wants a vote on this — as he’s been saying all along (see Senate Majority Leader expects to pass bipartisan energy and climate bill this spring: It “may be the most important policy we will ever pass.”)  Here’s more:

The marching orders could represent the best chance advocates will get to pass a climate and energy bill before the November elections. Kerry has been working with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on drafting a measure that could attract bipartisan support, but it remains unclear what combination of policies would draw enough votes to win passage.

“The majority leader is deadly serious about making progress this year on climate and energy reform,” Kerry said in a statement. “He’s been a hero every step of the process and he’s been in constant communication. Senators Lieberman, Graham and I have been meeting every day and we’re on a short track here, piecing together legislation and working with our colleagues so it can be finished and rolled out soon.”

Reid called Kerry on Monday to tell him he wanted a bill, and the two men met in person Tuesday after Kerry had conferred with Graham and Lieberman.

“Senator Reid made it clear to me the other day that he wants a bill and he wants it soon,” Kerry said. “I can’t give you an exact timetime, but we are working very very dilligently with our colleagues and all of the stakeholders to think this through carefully and get this done right, and get it done in a way that can pass the Senate.”

“I’m more optimistic now than I have been in several months,” said Carl Pope, the executive director for the Sierra Club, an advocacy group. Pope added “there are several different pathways” a Senate climate bill could take in order to reduce the country’s carbon output.

Several utilities executives–in Washington for the quarterly meeting of their trade association, the Edison Electric Institute–have also been making the rounds at the White House and on Capitol Hill to press for passage of legislation that would put a price on carbon.

Michael G. Morris, chief executive of American Electric Power, had dinner with Obama and other business executives on Tuesday night. Morris said that Obama “was encouraged by the Kerry, Lieberman and Graham endeavor.” Morris said that Obama indicated that “if that came to pass he would try to put his touch on it” and sign it.

Opera ain’t over….

Memo to WashPost:  If you want to suggest “post-carbon,” you need another image, otherwise folks will think you mean Post‘s carbon

Post Carbon

15 Responses to Breaking: Reid demands climate bill ASAP

  1. dhogaza says:

    This is good news. I’d about given up on them taking action. Sometime in the last few days the NY Times reported that action this year was unlikely.

  2. prokaryote says:

    Souith Africa – Heatwave kills more than 2,000 ostriches
    More than 2 000 ostriches have died in the Klein Karoo, as temperatures soared to more than 50°C in February

  3. Alex White says:

    Good news! If this moves forward quickly, it may give the Senators in Australia the incentive they need to pass an emissions trading scheme here.

  4. fj2 says:

    About time!

    For all those who do not understand why: What part of global warming don’t you understand?

  5. fj2 says:

    A price for carbon would be nice but there there should be an all out for conversion to wind and solar energy, and 1% e-footprint human mobility.

  6. MarkB says:

    While I’m concerned this could end up watered down significantly before it passed, I’m also a firm believer in incremental progress over no progress. The more that low carbon solutions chip away (however slowly) at the stranglehold the fossil fuel industry has on our energy sectors and Washington politics, the closer to critical mass they will get. Last I checked, fossil fuel lobbies still outnumber green lobbies 8 to 1 (a much smaller gap than in past years), so it’s a continued uphill climb for progress. Along with the fact that global warming continues to press on, fossil fuels continue to become scarce, and important environmental concerns like strip-mining and dirty air and water continue to be pervasive, critical mass for decisive policy action will be reached. For the global climate, the sooner the better!

  7. Leif says:

    If the news media would just wake up and do some responsible reporting for a change, I am sure that the public would be much more amicable. There does appear to be a change in the wind. Hopefully we all can pull out the stops and proceed to get a serious start on mitigation and sustainability. I am sure that whatever we get will not be sufficient in my book but I have no doubt that “grim realities” will have us back at the table before long. Please let it be a good foundation however.

    Two palms up,


  8. mike roddy says:

    Thanks to Senators Kerry and Reid, who have shown persistence and vision in pursuit of a very difficult goal. I certainly hope that a Senator or two wakes up sometime in the next few weeks and says to himself “Maybe I will just go ahead and do the right thing this time”. Stranger things have happened.

  9. Jade in San Francisco says:

    Well they’ve let this bill languish in Senate purgatory for so long that the public has really lost interest in climate change legislation. That’s not saying that a majority of Americans don’t support it. What bothers me is that our so called “senate majority leader” Harry Reid, is notorious for talking a lot of smack and then running for the hills the second a republitard says hello. He’s been afraid to go out on a limb and really fight for this publicly. Maybe it’s because the big health insurance industry bail out bill is sucking up all of the oxygen right now. They really need to get “health insurance reform” passed (with a public option/medicare expansion) so that the white house can focus more on their messaging for this cap and trade bill. Even though the president has been doing a good job of talking about why cap and trade legislation is important, the public is still confused about a lot of things (thanks to the status quo media) and need to be refreshed about what exactly is in this bill, and why not passing it is not an option.

  10. paulm says:

    Promising. I think everyones is tired of this tit-tat delay on what the science prescribes. The recent assaults on the science has, I think, highlighted how trivial and irrelevant the majority of the skeptical arguments are.

    It’s time to save the world…. fingers crossed.

    (Or maybe they had Madeira connections…

  11. Doug Bostrom says:

    Inhofe seeks to tar climate scientists with criminal reputation:

    Regardless of merit we’ll see this in the mainstream press shortly and we’ll end up with poor Joe the Plumber duped into thinking climate scientists are a bunch of criminals.

    Inhofe is a real piece of work.

  12. dhogaza says:

    While I’m concerned this could end up watered down significantly before it passed, I’m also a firm believer in incremental progress over no progress.

    Anything that puts all three branches of the US government in the “science isn’t a fraud” camp will be a tremendous step.

    1. Even Bush gave us lukewarm endorsement of climate science. Obama, of course, is much stronger.

    2. The Supreme Court green-lighted the EPA.

    3. House passed their bill.

    4. One more barricade to overcome.

  13. Michael Y says:

    I originally favored cap and trade for its theoretical efficiency but knowing how (1) it can get watered down, and (2) how the complexity of C&T can make legislation more difficult because everyone can debate the fairness and effectiveness of it, and (3) the greater difficulty it will be to integrate the system into a global carbon trading scheme, I’ve been converted to support a revenue-neutral straight carbon tax rather than C&T. I hope Kerry thinks seriously about a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

    JR, what is your preference and what is your prediction concerning what Kerry will come up with?

  14. Ryan Scholl says:

    Great article – one factual correction. Carl Pope is no longer the ED of Sierra Club. He is now the Chair of the Board. Michael Brune is the new ED.

  15. joe1347 says:

    Great news. I’ll be honest, I’m surprised that the Democrats grew a spine on this issue.