IT seems like only yesterday that Senator Joe Lieberman was praising his "new friends" from BP and several other oil companies. From Greenwire:
CLIMATE: Graham bids to ease tensions over competing Senate bills (03/25/2010)
Darren Samuelsohn, E&E senior reporter
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tried to defuse simmering tensions today over competing climate change bills that threaten to upend the global warming debate before it can even reach the floor….
Meeting with oil companies
Kerry, Graham and Lieberman are aiming to release their draft legislation next month after lawmakers return from their spring break, with a floor debate still the goal for May or June. The trio met this morning for more than an hour with representatives from ConocoPhillips, BP America and Shell Oil Co., the latest in a series of closed-door talks on key features of their proposal.
"Our new friends," Lieberman said during one of several short breaks the senators took as they went to the floor for a series of votes on the health care reconciliation bill.Graham declined to go into detail on the structure of his bill's regulations for transportation emissions, except to acknowledge the oil companies are helping come up with a "linked fee" plan that keeps them separate from electric utilities and other industrial sectors.
"We want our oil and gas industries to flourish," Graham said. "We want to be able to price carbon in a way that moves us away from foreign oil and fossil fuels in general. But in the process create jobs, not destroys our refiners. Our goal is to do it in a business-friendly way from their sector, from their point of view. "
Kerry, Graham and Lieberman have two other key meetings with industry groups scheduled for today. One involves the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth (AEEG), which includes more than a dozen major trade associations, as well as a session with members of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade group for investor-owned electric utilities.
The senators also were meeting at press time with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a key player on cost containment and offshore drilling provisions.