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Lieberman Optimistic About Climate Change Legislation
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Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman believes climate legislation that he helped author will pass this summer despite a recent set back. WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil explains.

At a stop in Hartford on Friday, Senator Lieberman brought up his climate change legislation. It was an odd audience for the message - the crowd was gathered in front of Samuel Colt's old armory for details on revitalizing the historic building.

"I've been privileged to work a lot this year on an energy independence climate change bill, which is really a jobs bill."

The bill to reduce greenhouse gasses has been evolving for years through work by Lieberman and Senators John Kerry and Lindsey Graham, a republican.  But last week, Graham threatened to pull his support just as details of the climate bill were to be released. Graham's announcement came after senate leader Harry Reid brought up tackling immigration reform, a sensitive subject for lawmakers facing re-election. Lieberman says now supporters for climate change are regrouping:

"I've been working on this for years, and I've introduced three or four bills like this before, never had what I think is as strong a bill to make America energy independent, to create new energy jobs, and to reduce carbon pollution, and never before have we had as broad a base of supporters in the business community and the environmental community, so I believe that pretty soon, we're gonna be back to where we thought we were last Monday, we're gonna introduce this bill with Senators Kerry and Graham and myself."

Currently, the bill's details have been sent to the U.S. Energy Information Administration for cost analysis, which could take up to six weeks. Lieberman says he's optimistic a senate vote will happen in June. As far as what temporarily derailed the momentum behind climate change, Lieberman says congress is unlikely to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.

For WNPR, I'm Lucy Nalpathanchil.