Wednesday, May 12, 2010

White House Aims to Use Deepwater Disaster to Win Votes for US Climate Bill

Suzanne Goldenberg of The reports:

"Senators are set to take a last run at producing a climate and energy law tomorrow, betting on the spectre of environmental disaster raised by the BP oil spill to build support for a comprehensive overhaul of America's energy strategy.

But despite a strong push from the Obama administration, there are concerns the debate about the energy future could be lost in the wrangling about offshore oil drilling permits.

The official roll-out by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman caps eight months of negotiations with political figures and industry executives aimed at getting broad support in Congress for shifting the economy away from coal and oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate legislation passed by the US Senate could unblock a major obstacle which prevented agreement on a binding global deal at last year's Copenhagen summit.

The White House is also trying to use the disaster to make a case for a bill. "This accident, this tragedy, is actually heightening people's interest in energy in this country and in wanting a different energy plan," Carol Browner, the White House climate adviser told Bloomberg television at the weekend."

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