Sources on Capitol Hill say Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) plan to introduce their climate change and energy bill next week, without the support of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), who was an original co-sponsor of the legislation.
In addition, Kerry and Lieberman are said to believe the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will help, rather than hurt, momentum for the legislation. Sources say the two senators believe the crisis in the gulf—which is likely to get worse before it gets better—will focus the public’s attention on the nation’s dependency on oil and facilitate the debate about reforming the energy sector.
However, the new climate bill is expected to include an expansion of offshore drilling, which is seen as a real threat to passage. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) has threatened to filibuster the legislation. “If offshore drilling off the coast of the continental United States is part of it, this legislation is not going anywhere,” he said.