Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the principal Republican sponsor for climate change legislation, told reporters last week that the current political landscape has made it "impossible" for Congress to pass or even consider an energy bill by the end of the current term.
Graham, who had been working on drafting a climate change bill with Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) for several months, suggested last week that he may pull out of the debate after learning that Democrats considered immigration reform to be a greater priority, according to The Associated Press (AP).
The senator indicated on Friday, May 7, that the oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico will most likely prohibit the legislation from including aggressive off-shore drilling, a measure that he considers to be crucial in modifying the nation’s energy practices, The New York Times reports.
"Regrettably, in my view, this has become impossible in the current environment," Graham said. "I believe there could be more than 60 votes for this bipartisan concept in the future, but there are not nearly 60 votes today and I do not see them materializing" anytime soon.
Kerry and Lieberman said they plan to introduce the bill today, with or without Graham’s support.