By Jordan Fabian - 03/31/10 05:03 PM EDT
Sen. John Kerry, who is leading the effort to craft a climate bill
in the Senate, said Wednesday that he would consider supporting President Barack Obama's
decision to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.
Kerry's (D-Mass.) spokesperson Whitney Smith said that the move could help him attract the 60 votes necessary to move climate legislation through the Senate.
has been working with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman
(I-Conn.) to craft a climate bill that could get enough support to
overcome a GOP filibuster while not alienating liberals and
Republicans favor more drilling but
their leaders have said that the plan does not open up enough areas for
drilling because it excludes Pacific coast and some areas of
Obama's plan would expand drilling areas to include areas off the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
10 coastal Democratic senators recently wrote Kerry to say they would oppose a bill if it greatly expands offshore oil and gas drilling, citing environmental concerns.
Kerry's office said the drilling under Obama's plan would be "conducted in an environmentally sensitive manner that protects the interests of the coastal states."
Cross-posted to the Briefing Room