Sen. Graham: Gas prices will drive Senate energy debate

Graham was one of three senators — Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) were the others — who attempted to negotiate a comprehensive climate-change bill in the Senate last year. Graham left the negotiations as a result of frustration over immigration policy and the effort fell apart.

This year, Graham hopes to play a major role in efforts to pass an energy bill. He said he hopes to pass a “clean energy standard” that would require that a certain portion of the country’s electricity to come from renewable energy, nuclear, coal with carbon capture technology and natural gas.

Graham said Wednesday he is meeting with other senators to gauge their support for such a proposal, noting, as The Hill previously reported, that Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) has expressed interest in working with him.

It’s unclear just what shape a Senate energy bill might take. Republicans and some Democrats are calling for a number of provisions related to nuclear energy and natural gas. President Obama has signaled his support for both of those energy sources but has not endorsed any specific proposals.