Dems Use Nukes to Lure GOP to Climate Bill

Plants, drilling offered as sweetener for cap-and-trade
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2009 9:28 AM CST
Sen. Lindsey Graham, SC, is the most visible Republican in favor of the climate change bill.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – The climate change bill up for Senate committee debate tomorrow doesn't stand a chance unless its Democratic backers can sweet talk some of their GOP colleagues, the Washington Post reports. The legislation focuses on a cap-and-trade system where companies could buy and sell emissions permits as needed. But Republican support is minimal, and even Dems from coal country are leery. So backers are upping the ante by adding something their GOP friends want: nuclear plants.

So far, possibilities include provisions on nuclear power and offshore drilling and an amendment to speed up the construction of nuclear reactors. But those pot-sweeteners still might not sway Republicans. "A tepid nuclear title isn't enough to get her to support a bad climate bill," says a rep for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was once seen as a likely ally but remains skeptical.