Kyl: Oil spill puts climate and energy bill on hold

Senate minority whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) predicted Tuesday that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill would put broad energy and climate legislation on hold while the accident is investigated.

The draft package that Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have been crafting would limit carbon emissions while promoting expanded nuclear power development and wider offshore drilling.

“At least temporarily, this [the spill] has probably knocked one of the legs of the stool off to the side,” Kyl said, referring to the drilling provisions.

“So my guess is that nothing proceeds at the moment until we find out what caused it, how it can be prevented in the future, and therefore how safe it is to continue exploring this deep offshore,” he said.

The draft Senate climate and energy package has not been unveiled publicly. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he wants to bring energy and climate legislation to the floor this year.