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13 Oct 2009: U.S. Officials More Upbeat
On Climate Progress Before Copenhagen

The U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, and a leading senator predicted that Congress will make good progress on climate legislation — and may even pass a bill — before a meeting in Copenhagen in December to forge an international treaty to slow global warming. The remarks by Chu and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California were markedly more optimistic than those of President Obama’s chief climate and energy adviser, Carol Browner, who said 10 days ago that a U.S. climate bill would not be passed before Copenhagen. Speaking to reporters in London, Chu said, “Whether there will be a bill on the president’s desk and he’ll sign it, I’m hopeful it will be... It will be tight, but there’s a good shot.” Boxer, one of two co-authors of a carbon cap-and-trade bill in the Senate, said the legislation would be passed by her committee soon, adding, “Certainly before Copenhagen, and we’re hoping maybe to even have it on the floor (of the Senate).” Prospects for congressional passage of a bill placing a cap and a price on carbon emissions brightened over the weekend when a leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, co-authored an op-ed article in the New York Times with Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts saying that he could support cap-and-trade legislation as long as it contained provisions encouraging the development of nuclear power and offshore oil.

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