Bill Clinton to Senate Democrats on energy and climate bill: 'Get it done'

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMueller’s probe doesn't end with a bang, but with a whimper Mark Mellman: History’s judgment Congress should massively ramp up funding for the NIH MORE urged Senate Democrats to pass energy and climate change legislation that he said would provide an economic spark to the U.S., according to senators emerging from Clinton's briefing to the Democrats' weekly caucus lunch Tuesday.

"He just said get it done, get it done because it's good for our economy," said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with the Democrats. "He talked about his travels around the world and said that there's concern about whether America is going to remain the competitive economic force that we have been.

"He thinks, bottom line, that there's no better way to create a surge of new jobs, in this case clean-energy jobs, than passing an energy independence bill," Lieberman added.

Clinton said part of this initiative should include putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions, but did not get into specifics, Lieberman said.

Lieberman is working with Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLobbying world Kerry: Trump not pursuing 'smart' or 'clever' plan on North Korea Tillerson will not send high-ranking delegation to India with Ivanka Trump: report MORE (D-Mass.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.) on a compromise climate and energy bill. They hope they can generate momentum on the issue, which has stalled in the Senate.

The three senators plan to include limits on greenhouse gas emissions as well as a series of provisions to attract centrist Democrats and Republicans, such as expanded support for nuclear power and wider offshore oil-and-gas drilling.

Lieberman said the trio hopes to complete draft legislative language by the end of next week to give to the Environmental Protection Agency for modeling.