Senator Trio Offers Obama ‘Guidance’ for Climate Change

Posted December 10, 2009 at 3:17pm

Hoping to provide President Barack Obama with “guidance— during his trip to Copenhagen for international climate change talks, a bipartisan group of lawmakers released what they dubbed a comprehensive framework for legislation they hope to use as the basis for a compromise bill next spring.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the three lawmakers behind the framework, said Thursday that the group decided to release a broad outline of a potential climate change deal to show Obama and the world of where the Senate is heading.

“We did this just for Copenhagen, quite frankly,— Graham said, adding that, “We wanted to give the president some guidance on what he could say— during the negotiations.

Obama is expected to attend a portion of the international climate talks next week.

The framework is the result of a monthlong negotiation between Graham and Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.). In addition to creating a new “market-based— system to control carbon dioxide emissions, the legislation would also increase domestic oil and gas production, funding for alternative energy sources and provide incentives for the construction of up to eight nuclear plants.

Kerry said Thursday that the group decided to not include specific bill language because a number of committees have yet to construct their versions of the bill. “We don’t want to jump ahead of their process. We want to honor the committee process,— Kerry said.

According to Kerry, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has committed to taking up the issue in the spring, which “gives us time in January and February to pull together the specific language— from the various committee versions of the legislation.