By MATTHEW DALY and FREDERIC J. FROMMER
WASHINGTON – An energy and climate bill to be made public on Wednesday would allow states directly affected by offshore drilling to veto drilling plans of nearby states if they can show significant negative impacts from an accident.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., also would allow coastal states to opt out of drilling being allowed up to 75 miles from their shores – a concession to lawmakers concerned about offshore drilling in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill.
Kerry and Lieberman have closely guarded the bill’s details before Wednesday’s announcement. The Associated Press obtained a copy of a summary being circulated Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
In a break from current policy, states that allow offshore drilling will receive a share of federal revenue, the summary shows. That provision is likely to spark debate from interior senators, mostly in the West, who object to revenue sharing for offshore drilling.
Kerry and Lieberman have said they will press ahead with the climate bill despite losing the support of their only Republican partner, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Graham, who had been negotiating with Kerry and Lieberman for months, said last week he believes it is impossible to pass the legislation now because of partisan disagreements over offshore drilling and whether to take up immigration reform.
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