Senate Leader Signals Strong Push to Pass Climate Legislation this Summer

Majority leader Harry Reid wrote to the chairs of eight Senate committees, asking them to make recommendations to address the BP oil spill before the July 4 Senate recess. Reid said he plans to bring the Kerry-Lieberman climate bill before the Senate during the “July work period.” He would like Senators to add provisions which “address both the existing situation and reduce the risks of such a catastrophe happening again.”

“To avoid more disasters and to reduce our vulnerability to the obvious and hidden costs of oil, we must move much more quickly to kick the oil habit as soon as possible and push harder for the production of affordable alternative fuels and advanced vehicles,” Reid wrote. He said Congress needs to act soon on enacting measures to address the situation in the Gulf of Mexico by moving to pass energy and climate legislation.

His letter comes one day after President Barack Obama made a public speech vowing to get the votes necessary to pass energy and climate legislation in the Senate. An industry source says that the president’s comments and Reid’s letter is a “big White House push” to pass clean energy legislation.