North Carolina’s Sen. Elizabeth Dole is one of a handful of Republican senators backing a comprehensive climate-change bill that is anticipated to see a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate this morning. Her support for the bill will be offset, however, by the opposition of N.C.‘s Sen. Richard Burr.
According to a news report in today’s News & Observer of Raleigh, Dole’s “eureka moment” on global warming came more than a year ago, when research forced her to the conclusion that the Earth’s climate is indeed warming. She signed on to the Climate Security Act, which the N&O article describes as “a basic cap-and-trade system for energy companies that emit greenhouse gases.” Burr, the article says, thinks the bill would hurt the Southeast because it targets coal-powered plants. The bill has endorsement from environmental and labor groups and some utility companies. Duke Energy in North Carolina, according to the report, has lobbied against it. Dole’s Democratic opponent in this fall’s general election, state Sen. Kay Hagan of Greensboro, is cited as supporting the bill.
According to the League of Women Voters of the U.S., a nonprofit, nonpartisan voter education and advocacy group, this morning’s action will be a procedural vote for/against cloture. Support for cloture, which requires 60 votes, would then move the bill itself forward for action. In attempting to delay the vote, according to the LWV, opponents procedurally forced the Senate clerk to read the bill’s entire 491 pages.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor