Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) reintroduced their plan for a nationwide plan to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions yesterday, with McCain pledging to go after a vote on the measure within the first legislative vehicle he can find.
"Senator Lieberman and I will not give up on this issue," said McCain, noting that many of his Senate colleagues are taking a fresh look at global warming as the topic becomes more mainstream. "We can no longer afford to simply gather data and publish reports," he said, alleging "almost criminal inaction" by the Bush administration.
"We can see with our own eyes what global warming is doing," Lieberman said. "We've got to engage the American people more."
McCain said he will try to offer the measure as an amendment with the "first opportunity possible."
The McCain-Lieberman measure was defeated 43-55 last year and Republican gains in the November elections may further decrease the bill's chances this year.
Nonetheless, Lieberman said he and McCain plan on traveling around the country to educate the American public about global warming, with a series of "open meetings."
And support from some senators who previously opposed the bill is another possibility. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has taken more interest in climate change as of late, after chairing a November hearing that examined the effect of rising temperatures on the Arctic. "It is very serious and poses very serious problems for us," Stevens said during the hearing.