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Senate Majority Leader Wants Climate Bill Within Two Weeks

EEI Daily Energy News

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has asked Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., to deliver a new climate bill to the Senate floor within two weeks, the Washington Post reported today.  Wrote the Post: "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."

Kerry was quoted as saying: "The majority leader is deadly serious about making progress this year on climate and energy reform. 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."

EEI leaders have been in the thick of the negotiations, the Post noted, writing: "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."

Washington Post Post Carbon blog, Feb. 24.