Photo via Chron
Oh fine lines, how hard ye are to walk, as the senators crafting bipartisan clean energy reform are certainly well aware by now. See, hope was growing (though it's been stagnant for a bit) that Lindsey Graham's support, along with measures to bolster nuclear development and offshore drilling, would help improve an energy reform bill's chances of garnering interest from conservative senators. And we just saw 22 senators send a letter exhorting Harry Reid to pursue an energy bill this year. But the concessions to Republicans are irking some liberal and coastal state senators. 10 of them just sent a letter with another message: expand offshore drilling too greatly, and we're out. Here's the full letter, in this nifty document-reader thingy I'm trying for the first time--see, instead of cutting and pasting boring old text in the same font, you can see the real congressional letterhead! You can also the signatures of real live senators! Hooray? Anyhow, here's the letter (if you can read it), via Enviroknow:
Here's a pertinent bit, if you can't: "It has come to our attention that some interests are aggressively pursuing and effort to open the nation's coasts and oceans for unfettered access to oil and gas drilling. This is of great concern to us."
This letter is a good, and necessary move by Democratic senators to preemptively push back on a compromise that could potentially get too generous--I'd pretty confidently bet that if we're going to see energy reform passed this year, there's going to be some offshore drilling allowances included. I certainly don't think that's a great thing, but if it means comprehensive energy reform gets passed, the trade off seems worth it.
I'm glad however, that these 10 Dems are pushing back to limit the scale of an offshore provision--though I seriously doubt any of them would actually refuse to vote for clean energy reform if its prospects of passage became feasible.