The latest word on the climate bill? Even though Republican Lindsey Graham has dropped out of the talks, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are still going to push ahead with legislation—they're planning to release it week Wednesday. Yesterday, Kerry predicted that Graham was "going to vote for the bill" regardless of whether he was at the unveiling or not.
And what does Graham himself think? E&E News has a long interview with the South Carolina senator today. He says he's still "paused" in the climate-bill negotiations because he's upset with the Senate taking up immigration reform this year. Then he goes on to say that the BP oil spill has probably made it harder to pass energy legislation—mainly because the offshore drilling bits that were intended to lure in conservatives are now a lot more controversial. But, he added, he might vote for the bill "if it doesn't get substantially changed." (That sounds like he's giving himself an out if need be.)
One interesting side issue that Graham touches on: revenue sharing. Lately there's been a lot of questions about where the revenue from taxing any new offshore drilling should go. Historically it's gone to the federal government. But various senators from coastal states like Louisiana or, well, South Carolina are now insisting that some of the money should go to the states that approve new drilling. This is slowly becoming more and more contentious. Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, for instance, has said "There is not going to be any drilling unless there is revenue sharing," while inland senators like New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman feel just as adamant in the opposite direction. And now Graham's piling on and saying that won't support a climate bill unless there's revenue sharing.