Environment

Sen. Joe Lieberman Wants More Nuclear in Climate Change Bill

| by Nuclear Energy Institute

Sen. Joe Lieberman [I-Conn.] wants you to know:

“I don’t think we’re going to [pass a bill] without bipartisan support,” Lieberman told POLITICO last week. “And without a nuclear title that’s stronger than in the House climate change legislation, we’re not going to be able to get enough votes to pass climate change.”

This being Washington, putting in such a title may sway some while putting off others and itself may not “be able to get enough votes.”

In an effort to resuscitate some version of the House climate change bill in the Senate, the Connecticut independent is trying to get Republicans and moderate Democrats on board by adding money for coal power and nuclear plants — changes that would infuriate many of the bill’s liberal supporters.

Lieberman calls his effort bi-partisan – Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats – but all the other Senators named as supporters in the article are Republicans. In any event, neither the story nor Lieberman’s Web site say exactly what the Senator has in mind for nuclear and coal – more of it certainly, but through loan guarantees, direct subsidies, mandates, what? We don’t know yet. Nuclear has done pretty well so far, so it’d be interesting to see where Lieberman wants to take it.

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The only responses we’ve seen so far is a fairly blistering rebuke from Wonkette and a dismissive one from Think Progress – you can find those yourselves, but neither provides detail, just a blanket disapproval of anything Lieberman might do.

Without knowing details, we agree with Lieberman that a coalition of Republicans and Center/Right Democrats can get a bill together and passed (through Conference Committee and the White House are different matters), but bipartisanship has not been the order of the day so far. If he can swing it, that would be something, but let’s see what he really has in mind. File this under developing.