Senate Watch: Cardin, Conrad, Dorgan, Graham, Grassley, Kerry, Lieberman, Lugar, Murkowski, Rockefeller

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 16 Nov 2009 14:28:00 GMT

As international leaders let the timetable for a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol slip to 2010, Republicans call for “starting from scratch” as Democrats and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) hope that spring will be a final deadline for passage of climate legislation.

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

E&E News Conventional wisdom is that you have until the spring to get controversial issues moving. If not, it’s difficult to see getting through closer to the elections.

Kent Conrad (D-ND)

E&E News I’m encouraged by it. Senator Kerry has certainly been good at reaching out. He’s been very serious about reaching out. We’ve been sharing things with him. We have more to share. He’s very good at listening, which is the best way of succeeding around here.

Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Politico Good policy is going to be left behind by the insistence that the climate change bill has to be done first or together.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

E&E News We don’t want it to slip into the summer.

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

E&E News But I do appreciate what Lindsey Graham is trying to do in the sense of nuclear and more offshore drilling.

Several senators say they would prefer to have a better idea what major developing countries plan to do under the auspices of the U.N. talks before they sign off on any domestic emission restrictions. “That’d make a big difference. If we passed a bill that the rest of the world didn’t follow, then Uncle Sam could soon become Uncle Sucker and export all of our jobs to China.”

John Kerry (D-MA)

E&E News If you get into an artificial timeline, then you don’t give people the opportunity to feel they’re being listened to, or their ideas are being processed. Let’s just work it day to day and we’ll see where we are. Maybe something breaks and you move faster than you thought? Maybe something slows you down because you need another figure or analysis? What I feel confident about, and what I think is important for the legislative tracking, if you will, is every day we’re making progress.

Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

E&E News Lieberman said he hoped Baucus would chime in before Reid sends the overall bill on to CBO and EPA for analysis. “The framework won’t be whole without that.”

Richard Lugar (R-IN)

E&E News I don’t want to deter for a moment the enthusiasm of this particular conference. But I need some benchmarks of how we measure what occurs. I want to know the costs, what’s anticipated, what the outline really creates at a time when really my constituents and those of my colleagues are talking principally in this country about unemployment, about the recovery of our economy, of how we make headway in terms of conservation efforts to save money.

I don’t see any climate legislation on the table here now that I’d support. We really have to start from scratch again, and I think there are ways of doing that.

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she is willing to work on climate and energy legislation with the three senators “if they can find some middle path that perhaps we haven’t pursued.” “It depends how it’s handled. If the way EPW handled climate change is the way it’s going to roll out from here, it’s doomed.”

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

E&E News There’s some possibility of people saying that it’s too controversial a bill in an election year. Which is sort of the opposite of how a democracy ought to work. You go ahead and take your chances on that and you get re-elected. But people’s business comes first.