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BP Oil Spill Gives another Excuse for the US to delay the climate Bill

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The US has been a laggard on the climate change mitigation compared to the progressive stances taken by Europe and Japan.Despite strong hopes raised by the election of Obama, the clean energy and climate change have remained on the backburner for the President and his team . While no one doubts that the economicĀ  issues need more attention , climate change is equally important.Perhaps more than the health care legislation.With the US being the largest emitter of greenhouse emissions , no one is going to take concrete steps without US participation.As I have mentioned earlier ,I thinkĀ  it will take a climate catastrophe for the US government to rise above vested business and party interests to do something on climate change.Making token statements and tax breaks won’t cure this global problem. Republican Graham who has apparently left the leadership in introducing the climate change bill citing obstruction by the administration now calls for delay to take into account the BP Oil Spill. It is ironic that the Oil Spill which should have served as a positive catalyst for climate change bill is now serving as a negative one.

Senator Graham calls for delay to US climate bill – BusinessGreen

Just a day after Independent senator Joe Lieberman said that he hoped the draft US climate bill would be formally launched next week, his erstwhile colleague Republican senator Lindsey Graham has called for a further delay to the bill.

In a prepared statement, Senator Graham said that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill meant the legislation would have to be revisited.

“We now have to deal with a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which creates new policy and political challenges not envisioned in our original discussions,” he said. “In light of this, I believe it would be wise to pause the process and reassess where we stand.”

Any significant pause to the repeatedly delayed bill would effectively end any chance of a Senate vote on the legislation ahead of the November mid-term elections. If the bill is then delayed until next year, its chances of success would centre entirely on how well the Democrats perform at the upcoming elections.

Senator Graham formally withdrew his support for the bill that he has worked on alongside Senator Lieberman and Democrat senator John Kerry late last month in protest at perceived efforts by the Democrats to push the climate change bill down the political agenda behind proposed immigration reforms.

He has subsequently sent mixed messages over his level of support for the bill, refusing to formally return his support for the legislation but telling an event earlier this week that he would continue to fight to secure the handful of Republican votes needed to pass the bill.

However, the oil spill has further complicated the negotiations surrounding the bill after a number of Democrats said they would not support clauses that would allow for increased levels of offshore drilling.

Support for offshore drilling was originally included in the bill in an attempt to win over some moderate Republicans and the senators working on the legislation will have to deliver a delicate compromise if they are to still win Republican support while keeping Democrats opposed to offshore drilling onside.


Sneha Shah

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