Senators to Unveil Climate Bill Proposal Next Monday

Senators to Unveil Climate Bill Proposal Next Monday

President expects it to take awhile to pass climate legislation.

Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, D-S.C., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., are expected to roll-out a long-awaited compromise bill to reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming. The legislative language will be sketched out next Monday, April 26. 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.

The bill could face stiff opposition from lawmakers in states with economies heavily dependent on oil and coal. Lou Hayden, a policy expert at the American Petroleum Institute, said his group would not support the bill unless it went through an economic analysis by the Energy Information Administration, an independent arm of the Energy Department.

President Obama sees it taking a while to get through Congress.  The President first expects Congress to complete work on Wall Street regulatory reform before tackling comprehensive energy and climate change legislation. It should take a few weeks he says. In the meantime lawmakers are expected to continue to work behind the scenes on a climate bill that can get support from industry.

The bill is already being discussed on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.  Last week, a Senate source told Reuters the legislation would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions. It would also end state and regional carbon-trading programs, such as the one several northeastern states participate in, to be replaced by a national carbon reduction policy.

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