Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
For a long time, the biggest complaint about the Senate climate and energy package was that no one had seen it. With a 978-page discussion draft hot off the presses, at least one criticism is off the table. And while it's too soon to know who plans to vote for the bill, there have been some early, positive remarks from key senators.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the Republican who was working with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on the legislation up until a few weeks ago, kept the door to a yes-vote slightly open:
I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve upon these concepts and find a pathway forward on energy independence, job creation, and a cleaner environment. We should move forward in a reasoned, thoughtful manner and in a political climate which gives us the best chance at success. The problems created by the historic oil spill in the Gulf, along with the uncertainty of immigration politics, have made it extremely difficult for transformational legislation in the area of energy and climate to garner bipartisan support at this time.
Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), an opponent of offshore drilling who yesterday afternoon fired off an irate Tweet about the bill's rumored drilling provisions, appears to be satisfied by the actual draft:
I’m glad the climate bill includes my proposal for a moratorium on any new drilling, until we know what happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon. Also, they had their eye on expanding drilling into new areas of the Gulf of Mexico near Florida, and I told them to stay out of it. And I’m glad they listened.