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Lugar warns Democrats, 'I don't see any climate bill ... that I can support'

By Juliet Eilperin
One of the key Republican senators involved in the global warming debate on Capitol Hill said Tuesday the Senate will have to "start from scratch" in terms of crafting climate legislation.

Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.), the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, met Tuesday with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, along with the panel's chairman, John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), who are working to forge a bipartisan compromise on climate legislation.

Lugar said he welcomed the opportunity to discuss global warming, but he emphasized that his constituents are more focused on the economy and did not see the bill authored by Kerry and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) as politically viable.

"I don't see any climate bill on the table right now that I can support," said Lugar, one of the half-dozen Republicans that Democrats are courting on the issue. "We really have to start from scratch again."

The Environment and Public Works Committee passed the Kerry-Boxer bill last week, but Kerry and Lieberman -- along with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) -- are pushing to unveil a draft of their proposal before U.N.-sponsored climate talks begin in Copenhagen next month.

"We are going to try to move the Senate as far as we can before Copenhagen," Lieberman said.

Despite the uncertain political prospect of climate legislation at this point, Kerry said he and others emphasized during the closed-door session that the United States was moving toward a mandatory cap on greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

"We are very serious about our role," Kerry said.

Ban acknowledged the Senate would not pass final legislation before the Copenhagen talks begin Dec. 7, but he expressed optimism that the United States could still play a key role in the negotiations.

"No country is more important than the United States in resolving these climate change issues," he said, singling out President Obama for praise for showing "such a strong commitment" to the matter.

Obama has not said yet whether he will attend the talks, but on Monday he told Reuters he would consider going. Obama is slated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Dec. 10.

"If I am confident that all of the countries involved are bargaining in good faith and we are on the brink of a meaningful agreement and my presence in Copenhagen will make a difference in tipping us over edge, then certainly that's something that I will do," Obama said.

By Juliet Eilperin  |  November 10, 2009; 8:03 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Sounds suspiciously like the same blather the White House put out before he jetted off to pitch the Chicago Olympics.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | November 10, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Are we forgetting that these were the losers of the last election, have a long history of being political prostitutes for the destroyers of America, and just lost the health care obstruction effort? Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | November 10, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

.........

Please help me with this one.
Why does Sen. Lugar matter?
Aren't there 60 democratics
to vote this through?

.........

Posted by: printthis | November 10, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Temperature Highlights - October
The average October temperature of 50.8°F was 4.0°F below the 20th Century average and ranked as the 3rd coolest based on preliminary data.
For the nation as a whole, it was the third coolest October on record. The month was marked by an active weather pattern that reinforced unseasonably cold air behind a series of cold fronts. Temperatures were below normal in eight of the nation's nine climate regions, and of the nine, five were much below normal. Only the Southeast climate region had near normal temperatures for October.
Statewide temperatures coincided with the regional values as all but six states had below normal temperatures. Oklahoma had its coolest October on record and ten other states had their top five coolest such months.

==========================================

Just how stupid are the democrats? Global warming was proven wrong. Climate change is a myth. What now? You democrats need to start drinking the sugar free Koolaid and slow down your warped thinking.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 10, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 10, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

It looks like we got our last tropical storm of one of the lightest hurricane seasons and one of the coldest autumns in recent memory.

As an independent climate skeptic, I wish the political climate was more congenial over the issue of cap and trade. I could envision and support federal aid to weatherize and insulate American homes and give substantial tax breaks for solar energy. Energy conservation is the way to go, however we don't need more energy taxes.

Posted by: alance | November 10, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Since Obama has NO experience in anything practical, someone needs to inform him that the weather is like a 2 ton Gorilla in the room that does, "What ever IT wants too"...

AGW is a HOAX, I agree with the top scientist and their facts...

Posted by: ekim53 | November 10, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Ozone layer depletion is a scientific fact, you bunch of ignorant fools.

Why are conservatives even blogging here? Is Fox News suddenly off the air? Their presence brings this site down to the level of the NY Post.

Here's an idea - turn off Rush, Sean, and Fox News and start educating yourselves.

Posted by: RobertaHigginbotham | November 10, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

First, I want Congress to pass significant legislation addressing our role in climate change. I'm a little biased since I am a Hoosier. But to answer someone's question, Lugar matters because he he is among the most thoughtful and credible members of the Senate, especially among Republicans. Compared with Ensign, Inhofe, DeMint, Roberts, Kyl, McCain, Cornyn...I'll take Lugar every time. Ask the President what he thinks of Senator Lugar and I bet you will hear unequivocal praise...almost certainly more than you would hear for Evan Bayh. Bayh is a symbol--a face, Lugar is substance, and Indiana and the nation are better for Lugar's service.

Posted by: JohnBrown08 | November 10, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

After legislating the climate, Congress should change the laws of gravity and repeal the second law of thermodynamics.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 10, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

What Senator Lugar says makes sense. The climate bills working their way through Congress amount to raising energy taxes in the midst of terrible economic difficulty. We just cannot impose such pain right now.

Posted by: coastofutopia | November 10, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Senator Lugar matters because he is one of the few reasonable Republicans who actually decides issues on their merits rather than following Rush. I hope the Dems can get him on board.

Posted by: foxjh | November 10, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

charlietuna666 -

It's called global warming, not US warming. If the entire planet was cooler in October, that would be meaningful.

Posted by: tracymohr | November 10, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

pkhenry, Maybe it is the first law of thermodynamics they should repeal because they have a lot of the electorate actually believing you can get something for nothing.

Posted by: tnvret | November 10, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Even if you disagree with the scientific principles behind global warming there are plenty of other reasons to support legislation that puts reasonable controls on energy policy. Even the repubs acknowledge that we need to be more energy independent. If you subscribe to basic principles of economics (supply and demand), then you must agree that shifting the supply curb by imposing an externality (regulation) will force the market to respond with decreased demand or increased efficiency. It's not a perfect model but it's better than the struthious approach of pretending that delaying action somehow improves our situation.

Posted by: nictsiz | November 10, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, charlietuna, where do you propose we stick the thermometer?

Posted by: tnvret | November 10, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

The "scientific principles" behind global warming are not so clear cut as some here believe. As a first order effect, greenhouse gas warming is only expected to raise temperatures half a degree or so over the next century.

The prognosticators of doom base their predictions on theoretical feedbacks, which are very poorly understood - if at all.

Posted by: pkhenry | November 10, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm really tired of mealy-mouthed politicians who refuse to speak in clear specifics using the word "because." I would like to know--clearly and specifically, why Lugar can't support the current bill, and what he would support--and why. I doubt we'll get that. Like most politicians, he's a cowardly equivocator.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | November 10, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"Why are conservatives even blogging here?"

Making a comment (such as your own) is not blogging.

If you had your own site and you stated an opinion on your site, that would be blogging. It would also be useless, but it would be blogging.

My message is not a blog either. It's simply a message.

Try to keep this fancy internet stuff straight.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 10, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

OMG one of Limbaugh's Boi's opposes global warming. What else is new. Why pay any attention to them, they are the minority party by the voters choice. Sweep them under the polluted rug in congress

Posted by: wasaUFO | November 10, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

To those posters claiming that global warming has been debunked: I've been reading the journals "Nature" and "Science" for the past 10 years, and have yet to see an article or paper denying the existence global warming. These two journals are among the most respected peer-reviewed scientific publications in the world - if global warming is wrong, I would have expected to see it in these periodicals. I also happen to work with oceanographers and climatologists who have been studying this issue for many years - none of them agrees with you. Comments, please.

Posted by: apn3206 | November 11, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

All who say "no global warming," please explain why the icecaps are melting. They are, you know.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | November 11, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

@ stuck_in_Lodi - good point. Also don't forget the faster-than-expected melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

Posted by: apn3206 | November 11, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, he wouldn't support a climate bill from the day he was elected until the end of his life....

Posted by: cmecyclist | November 11, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh Boy. More of Eilperin's nonsense. Repeat after me: Gorebal Whining is a farce!!!

Posted by: A1965bigdog | November 11, 2009 5:44 AM | Report abuse

All who say "no global warming," please explain why the icecaps are melting. They are, you know.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | November 11, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

**************
My question to you is why are you so frantic about change? The geological evidence is overwhelming that over the course of hundreds of thousands of years that sea level varies between 20 feet higher than it is today to 300 feet lower than it is today. Change happens. It's unavoidable.

For right or wrong, good, bad, or ugly, the climate isn't static. It oscillates between where it is currently to glaciers and back, and it all happens naturally.

Yes, Miami, New Orleans, and many other cities will be flooded. It's unavoidable. However, man is NOT the cause.

Posted by: A1965bigdog | November 11, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

We don't need to sign any treaty on global warming where we give up our sovereign nation. If China and India aren't included then screw it.

I refuse to lower my standard of living so China and India can prosper. And f future generations.

The earth's average temp is expected to drop over the next 30 years. Hard sell for global warming.

How green are Senators Boxer and Kerry? Kerry is traitor who should have been tried for treason in the early 70's!

Posted by: vaherder | November 11, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

NOAA.gov says - The average October temperature of 50.8 degrees F was 4.0 degrees F below the 20th Century average. This is for the majority of the U.S.

Flat earth one world government global warming nutjobs need to be thrown out of the House and Senate. If the World climate is changing it is due to the activity of the Sun. But the liberal socialist one world government proponents will never admit to it. Since they have no control over the sun, it doesn't benefit them. Now they just blame it on incandescent light bulbs, and SUVs. What a bunch of morons.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | November 11, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh good, maybe there will be no climate bill?

Let's work on suspended particulates, brown fog and it friends SOx and NOx, maybe?

Posted by: peterroach | November 11, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line, those in Congress that are against this bill are against it for the potential effect to key industries in their state or district that pollute. Its short-sighted, but ultimately understandable.

That said, this "climate change is a hoax" routine is a red herring thrown out there to the no-nothings and head-in-the-sand fundamentalists who can't fathom science, and therefore it can't be true.

Evidence: "We just had a colder than usual autumn, therefore there is no climate change."

Thanks, Professor Einstein, any other insight?

Posted by: SWB2 | November 11, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

it's impossible to wait untill the evidence is irrefutable (it will be far too late) so you go with what you've got. The weather on the way to work this morning doesn't prove anything, learn some statistics before you type, folks. And whether man-made effects are a big, medium or small part of the total picture, there's no reason not to curb them, again, because we can't wait to find out just how big. All that said, we don't have to wreck the economy over doomsayers either, so sensible, doable, gradual, economical investment in cleaner energy, etc. just makes sense. No need to ban coal tomorrow, but no reason not to make the coal producers and burners spend a few bucks burning it as cleanly as technology permits.

Posted by: JoeT1 | November 11, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

So if the "messiah" thinks he can help push this agreement over the edge, he will attend the Copenhagen talks...the arrogance of it all.........

Posted by: pickles1 | November 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It has been proven their is no man made global warming. The British will not let Al Gore's DVD be played in their classroom's. They found several untruths in the climate change myth. The scientist have proven that Al Gore & his so called scientist were exaggerating global warming & so now they are going to call it climate
change & we have to cause millions more of people to loose their jobs & cause every American to pay huge electrical bills & we have 17.5% of the people out of work already & 10.2% of them are going to get more unemployment which is causing them to live off the government, loosing their job skills, & become weak & pull them down because that is how to take over the people once you keep pulling them down. If Obama goes to Copenhagen & makes a deal with them on climate control that means we will have to pay tens of millions of dollars to foreign government as this will make us an international climate control. We cannot afford this nor does America do things like this. We are a soverign country & we stand alone & are a proud people. Obama said he was a citizen of the World, well that is just great, but Americans are citizens of the United States of America. We are a proud people who are not going to let Obama destroy us with socialist health care, with cap & trade, & with destroying our capitalism. We want our freedoms back & they can stop threatening us because tyranny in America will not work. We will not stand for it. Al Gore can go pad his pockets on some country that believes him & that is not us. Kerry & Boxer can go with him. See these Congressmen & Senators get to keep their good insurance, & keep their salaries for the rest of their lives. We are paying for a bunch of people that are suppose to represent the people of America & instead some are just representing themselves. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY & WE ARE PAYING YOU TO WORK FOR US. OPEN UP YOUR EYES & EARS & HEAR US BEFORE SOMETHING GOES SERIOUSLY WRONG!!!!!!!

Posted by: egw7777 | November 11, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The climate bill is opposed by environmentalists as it will destroy the planet with radiation, cyanide, arsenic and lead contaminants. This bill will create acid rain. The title comes out of Orwell's "1984," and resembles the phrases "War is Peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength." Only the ignorant and uneducated Democrats support this nuclear-coal bill. True environmentalists want solar and wind power, not cyanided, arsenic, lead, radiation and acid rain. Thank you Barbara for giving in to the LaRouche faction of the party. They don't even believe in global warming, a problem made much worse by this bill. Next time, support the environmentalists in your own party. There are more of us and we vote.

Posted by: smartliberal | November 11, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Of course he should attend the UN Climate Conference. Heads of State and Heads of Government from nearly every major nation will be there, so if he does not attend it will appear as though the US does not regard the Conference seriously.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | November 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't care whether [no pun intended] this scientist or that agree with one another but I do want cleaner air. Fortunately, I live on the edge of the Pacific and the air is as fresh as it could be - except when the Gobi takes off into the atmosphere.

Posted by: royaloak1 | November 12, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Even if one does not believe in global warming, does it not make sense to drstically cut our oil imports. We buy oil from countries that either overtly hate us, take policies against our interests, or even allow money to flow from certain charities to terrorists.

Lets create an alliance of those concerned about national security, energy security, and climate change to drastically reduce imports of oil and natural gas. The technology to replace home heating oil and much of the imported natural gas for power plants exists - simply build wind, solar-thermal and geo-thermal systems.

Posted by: david65 | November 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

this design of a global plan should be in the hands of scientists and engineers - not politicians and economists.

when will we learn to put problem solving in the hands of those who at the very least - understand the problem and the process needed to find and implement solutions?

Posted by: boblesch | November 15, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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