Sen. John Kerry today is meeting with the Senate committee chairmen to outline the bipartisan climate change legislation that is taking shape privately on Capitol Hill.
For months Kerry has been huddling with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with backing from the White House and President Obama’s Green Cabinet to come up with a bill that passes political muster. Political aides and Kerry declined to give a firm timeline or say whether something could actually get done in midterm election year, but Kerry told reporters Tuesday he feels “very positive” that the details his bipartisan trio is working through could become a specific proposal soon.
“I feel much more confident that we, all the three of us, and others who are engaged in this, have a clear sense of direction. What we’re doing now is working through the details,” Kerry said. “It’s a puzzle, you have to fit all the pieces together.”But offering a bit of a hint, a White House aide told TPMDC that Obama believes setting a price on carbon is the most effective way to “transition to a clean energy economy,” one of the key goals of the bipartisan group.
The aide said Obama supports Kerry, Lieberman and Graham. “He believes that comprehensive legislation should create incentives to invest in clean energy and create millions of American jobs,” the aide said.
On Tuesday Kerry declined to give specific details about the legislation they are forming but said he’s meeting with key environmental groups in Washington and working with lawmakers to build support before the draft bill even surfaces.
“We are trying to get this done as rapidly as possible. We really are trying to finish this,” Kerry said.
In related news, Politico reports that Kerry recently met with T. Boone Pickens about climate change. Pickens was a major funder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group which contributed to damaging Kerry during the 2004 presidential election.