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