Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the chief sponsors of a nascent plan to address energy and climate change in the Senate, said Friday that the proposal had no chance of passage in the near term and called for a “pause” in consideration of the issue.
But his two co-sponsors, Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, vowed to press forward with a broad energy and global warming plan next week. They have been working with the White House and an array of business and environmental groups to fashion a package designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil and create millions of clean-energy jobs.
But Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said that the current political climate had made it impossible to consider such a difficult subject. In a statement Friday, he said that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had heightened concern about expanded offshore drilling, which he considers a central component of any energy legislation. Mr. Graham also said that Democratic insistence on taking up immigration policy before energy had chilled his enthusiasm for any global warming measure.
Without the support of Mr. Graham and at least a handful of Republicans, the measure may well be dead for the year….
Mr. Graham, seen as the essential bridge to Senate Republicans on climate change policy, also said that many Democrats were now uneasy about the nation’s energy policy and few if any Republicans would support a broad measure.