WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Friday that it has become "impossible" to pass climate and energy legislation at the moment, a declaration that may doom the bill's chance of passage this year.
Graham had spent months trying to craft a bipartisan compromise on the issue with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., but he suggested late last month that he was unwilling to continue after Senate Democratic leaders said they hoped to push through immigration legislation this year.
His new statement is more definitive and suggests that the one Republican who could serve as a bridge to the GOP on a climate bill will abandon the effort altogether.
The Democrats' immigration push and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have put a halt to any immediate expansion of offshore oil drilling, Graham said, and hampered any chance of reaching a bipartisan deal.
Kerry and Lieberman said they still plan to introduce the climate and energy proposal Wednesday.