UPDATE 1-U.S. senators postpone climate bill unveiling

(Adds details, background)

WASHINGTON, April 24 (BestGrowthStock) – Monday’s unveiling of a
compromise U.S. Senate climate bill was postponed on Saturday,
Democratic Senator John Kerry said, after a dispute arose over
unrelated immigration reform legislation.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said earlier on Saturday
he would have to pull out of the bipartisan climate change
effort because of concerns Democrats would push forward with a
debate on immigration reform, rather than the climate change
bill, in the Senate.

Kerry said he hoped to keep working for passage of a
climate bill.

He said that after more than six months of detailed
meetings with Graham and independent Senator Joseph Lieberman,
“we believe that we had reached” an agreement on the details of
a bill to reduce smokestack emissions of carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases associated with global warming.

They were planning to outline those details at a news
conference on Monday that would have been attended by some
environmental and industry representatives.

“But regrettably, external issues have arisen that force us
to postpone only temporarily” the Senate’s work on the climate
bill that also would have expanded U.S. nuclear power
generation and offshore oil drilling.

The wide-ranging climate bill already faced an uphill
battle in the Senate, even before it became enmeshed in a
partisan battle between Democrats and Republicans over
immigration reform.

But with only a few months left before November’s
congressional elections, senators are trying to determine where
their efforts should be focused, with the elections playing an
important role in their decision.

Earlier on Saturday, The Washington Post reported that
Graham wrote a letter to his colleagues informing them that
unless Democrats stepped back from plans to move ahead with
immigration reform rather than the climate change bill, the
South Carolina Republican would drop out of the three-senator
working group.

Without Graham on board, efforts to pass climate control
legislation could be doomed as he was expected to work to win
more Republican support for the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement on
Saturday that immigration and climate change were both
important to Americans.

“They expect us to do both, and they will not accept the
notion that trying to act on one is an excuse for not acting on
the other,” Reid said.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Peter Cooney)

UPDATE 1-U.S. senators postpone climate bill unveiling