On Tuesday, the Senate debated the climate change legislation once again, with senators from both parties proposing a compromise that includes provisions to boost nuclear power and expand offshore drilling. According to an article written by Jennifer Dlouhy from the Washington Bureau of the “Houston Chronicle,” the debate was heated. “Sen. Lindsey Graham, (Rep. S.C.), who has been huddling with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and other moderates on the issue, said linking nuclear power and offshore drilling with a cap-and-trade plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions is ‘the winning formula” to pushing the measure through the Senate,’” Dlouhy wrote. Unfortunately, the leading climate change bill in the Senate (a bill that was sponsored by senators John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California) barely addresses nuclear power and ignores offshore drilling. An additional problem with the bill presently being considered is that it would significantly raise both residential and industrial energy costs. The Republicans are staunchly against the bill in its present form, and a number of Democrats have serious issues with it, particularly in terms of cost per household for consumers at a time when the unemployment rate in the US is rising. Dlouhy reports that Sen. Graham said, “To get a bipartisan bill on climate change, you're going to have to make it attractive for Republicans to vote for a cap-and-trade system.” That means there has to be a provision for nuclear power and that offshore drilling will need to be included. According to the article, Graham has been very vocal in his opposition, but has been proactive in offering ways to compromise. “There’s a way to grow Republican support, but it is a give-and-take. Republicans have to give in the area of recognizing that climate change is real and a cap-and-trade system is part of the solution. I’d ask our Democratic colleagues to give on the idea that you can’t be serious about climate change solutions if you exclude nuclear power.” The present bill does not reflect this compromise, and it is not clear when a revised bill would be available in a form that could be presented to Congress. For now, the Kerry-Boxer bill seems to have hit a wall. Dlouhy reports that Graham believes an offshore drilling plan for the climate bill could be modeled after ideas advanced by Carper, Graham, Klobuchar and other members of a self-titled “Gang of 20” senators (a bipartisan group of senators working to find a compromise that will achieve the country’s clean energy objectives). In fact, there seem to be a lot of options to consider. And most of these are still up in the air. The energy debate needs to be expanded to include all of the potential sources of energy or the resulting bill will not be able to meet the primary objectives – to provide energy for the US while managing emissions. So the debate continues, with progress occurring at a snail’s pace if it is happening at all. However you look at it, we are far from reaching a solution.