Sunday, October 18, 2009

Republican senator says open to U.S. climate bill

The Valero St. Charles oil refinery is seen during a tour of the refinery in Norco, Louisiana August 15, 2008. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton 

By Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Republican in the United States Senate, conservative Senator Lisa Murkowski, said she would consider voting for a "cap and trade" climate change bill Democrats are pushing if it also contains a vigorous expansion of nuclear energy and domestic oil drilling.

In an interview set to air on Sunday on the C-SPAN cable TV network, Murkowski said cap and trade legislation, which aims to mandate reductions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, must protect consumers from energy price increases and contain safeguards against market manipulation of pollution permits that would be traded by companies.

Some of these elements already are included in Democratic legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives.

"Count me as one of those who will keep my mind open as we move forward," said Murkowski, the senior Republican on the Senate energy panel and a member of her party's leadership.

Murkowski's remarks came after her fellow conservative, Senator Lindsey Graham, published a column in The New York Times with liberal Senator John Kerry, in which they vowed to work together to advance legislation tackling global warming. …

Republican senator says open to U.S. climate bill

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