The U.S. Senate’s latest attempt to introduce climate legislation has been dogged with uncertainty and delay, continuing the worrisome trend of U.S. inaction to address the most critical issue facing humanity.
As word spread through Washington over the past few days that yet another attempt at a climate and energy bill appeared doomed to the legislative dustbin, the rest of the world continues to wonder if the U.S. is ever going to overcome its deadlock on climate legislation.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threatened over the weekend to drop his support for the compromise legislation he has been working on for months with Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), citing disagreement over immigration legislation that is competing for Senate attention.
The climate and energy bill was not introduced on Monday as planned, due to Sen. Graham’s departure from the talks. The future of KGL, as the bill is known for the letters of its cosponsors’ last names, is far from certain.
Despite the signal sent Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that he is willing to bring up climate change legislation ahead of an immigration bill, Senator Graham has given no indication of when he intends to return to the table to talk further.
Senators Lieberman and Kerry have indicated they will not move forward until Graham returns to the process.
Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill reports that Senator Graham is holding the climate bill hostage to ensure that immigration legislation is nixed for the duration of the current session of Congress: “Graham has signaled that he opposes moving ahead with the climate plan as long as immigration reform remains on the table this year.”
So we find ourselves back where we left off last year leading up to COP-15 in Copenhagen - waiting on the U.S. Senate to stop playing political games that threaten the future of the planet. Not an ideal situation, to say the least.