Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
WASHINGTON — As President Obama heads to Copenhagen this week to convince world leaders of the United States' commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he's getting help from an unexpected quarter.
In the Senate, where partisan feuding engulfs Obama's health care bill, an unusual group of lawmakers is working across party lines on a compromise bill that would boost domestic energy production while reducing pollution that causes global warming.
Described by participants as "tripartisan," the effort unites Sens. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat; Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent; and Lindsey Graham, an outspoken South Carolina Republican.
The three are touting their alliance as proof that Congress is prepared to approve significant reductions in carbon emissions. Suspicions about U.S. intentions surfaced Tuesday at the United Nations global climate conference in Copenhagen, as China's representatives accused their U.S. counterparts and other developed nations of not going far enough to help poor nations.
"Developed countries have the obligation to provide financial support," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
Kerry has a pointed message of his own for the Chinese in a speech he plans to deliver in Copenhagen today after an all-night flight from Washington.
"Some of my colleagues in Washington remain — like some leaders elsewhere — reluctant to grapple with a climate crisis mostly measured in future dangers and parts per million, when they're confronted every day with the present pain of hard-working people in a tough economic time," Kerry says, in remarks prepared for delivery.
"To pass a bill, we must be able to assure a senator from Ohio that steelworkers in his state won't lose their jobs to India and China because those countries are not participating in a way that is measureable, reportable and verifiable," he adds.
The trio's strategy: Combining legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions — a favorite cause of Democrats — with measures that would beef up domestic energy production and attract GOP votes.
That would include expanding offshore oil and gas drilling, which is opposed as a threat to beaches by groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council. It would also jump-start the U.S. nuclear industry, which has not been permitted to build a new plant since the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island plant in central Pennsylvania. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-12-15-senate-climate-change_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomWashington-TopStories+%2 8News+-+Washington+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo
Stand up to the Chinese? Offshore oil and natural gas drilling? Nuclear plants? Maybe these guys ARE really the three wise men!
(If any of you think it was easy saying something decent about Kerry.....I assure you it wasn't!)