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Senate climate huddle

By Juliet Eilperin

Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) brought in a group of their colleagues to discuss their compromise climate proposal Tuesday, but one of the most positive signs might have come from a senator who didn't even attend the session.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) didn't have a chance to stop by the session, but in an interview, Gregg said he was talking with the troika and other key senators about the prospects for a bill.

"I'm talking and open to ideas," Gregg said. "I'm interested in reducing our dependence on oil, especially foreign oil."

And on the key question of placing a price on carbon? Gregg said he was open to doing that, though "it would have to be in the context of reducing our dependence on foreign oil."

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), left the meeting with Kerry, Graham and Lieberman early, but said the group was serious about passing a climate and energy bill this year.

"We want to do this," he told reporters

And Gregg, for his part, was planning to meet Tuesday with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who have their own proposal to cap carbon and distribute the money raised by auctioning pollution allowances to taxpayers. But he had to cancel since he's managing the budget reconciliation bill for the Republicans.

In that sense, it appears that health care isn't quite out of the way when it comes to making progress on climate legislation.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  March 23, 2010; 8:00 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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