Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) a leading manufacturing advocate, said Wednesday that the climate bill needs improvements to bolster industrial and consumer interests.

"We must do more to ensure that it promotes the competitiveness of American manufacturers, and provides more assistance to the consumers, industries, and states that would be most affected by the bill," Brown said in a statement. "As energy legislation moves forward in the Senate, I plan on working on these issues and ensuring that Ohio manufacturers can build the clean energy products that can be sold around the world."

Brown's support is seen as key to attracting rust belt Democrats who represent states that lean heavily on traditional industry, signaling they will push for additional aid to energy intensive interests.

The Ohio senator still applauded the release of the legislation, co-written by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)

"We need an energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and addresses the serious threat of climate change," he said. "I applaud Senators Kerry and Lieberman for advancing this issue. Done right, a clean energy bill will also be a jobs bill."

Cross-posted to the E-2 Wire