Photo via Zimbio
In case you missed it over the weekend, there's been a huge development in the saga of the climate bill--it's now got some serious support from Republican senators. High profile GOP senator Lindsey Graham (SC) has co-authored a game-changing op-ed with Sen. John Kerry (MA) that ran in the New York Times. In it, they discuss the importance of working together to get the important legislation passed as soon as possible. The dimming hopes for seeing a climate bill passed this year have just been rekindled--the prospect of seeing US energy reform take place just got very, very real.Last week, I wrote that potential compromises on nuclear energy (among other things) were bringing Republicans to the drawing board--and it looks like such compromises have succeeded beyond the wildest expectations.
The senators write in the op-ed:
We refuse to accept the argument that the United States cannot lead the world in addressing global climate change. We are also convinced that we have found both a framework for climate legislation to pass Congress and the blueprint for a clean-energy future that will revitalize our economy, protect current jobs and create new ones, safeguard our national security and reduce pollution.This is truly exciting news--true bipartisan support for a climate bill has long been a goal, and here, Graham is not merely pledging to cast a vote in favor, he's actually participating in the process, and calling other Republican senators to action by example. And on top of that, he's making a call for urgent bipartisan action:
Our partnership represents a fresh attempt to find consensus that adheres to our core principles and leads to both a climate change solution and energy independence. It begins now, not months from now -- with a road to 60 votes in the Senate.The bipartisan alliance gives Republicans a fresh chance to consider what the bill would accomplish--many which are goals they support, like working towards energy independence by cutting back on foreign oil, stimulating the economy and creating jobs. And this partnership between Graham and Kerry will certainly have some sort of ripple effect--John McCain, the Republican senators from Maine, Snowe and Collins will likely join Graham, and others may as well.
The piece, Yes We Can (Pass Climate Change Legislation) is definitely worth reading. Kerry, and especially Graham--whose move is bound to be politically unpopular to some of his peers, party, and supporters--deserve some serious credit for this bold maneuver.