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Reid Sticks To Spring Climate-Bill Schedule

Last week, I mentioned that it's too soon to start writing obits for the climate bill. A cap on greenhouse gases will face a lot of hard obstacles in the Senate, no question (especially if Republicans snag that Massachusetts seat), but energy and climate change still appears to be on the agenda for the spring. Here's Harry Reid, confirming that point in a speech to the Geothermal Energy Association this week:

As you know, the House has passed a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill that does many of these things. I support addressing each of these issues in the Senate’s version, and I expect that to happen this spring.

We have a lot on our plate. We have to finish reforming health insurance and Wall Street, and also must help bring Americans out of unemployment. But we are not so busy that we can’t find the time to address comprehensive energy and climate legislation.

Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman have taken a lead in trying to craft a framework that would get more than 60 votes. We will need at least that many for two reasons: One, because any bill that seeks to rein in global warming pollution will be fought very hard by the same companies that profit most heavily from polluting. And two, because the rules of the Senate make it easy for a determined minority to stand in the way of all the good ideas you’re hearing at this forum.

You can read the full speech here. Reid also said he was focused on defeating Lisa Murkowski's upcoming amendment to strip the EPA of its authority over greenhouse gases, calling it "misguided." (More on Murkowski's move here.)