10 Dems warn Kerry: Don't expand offshore drilling in climate change bill

The warning was issued to Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDemocrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate MORE (D-Mass.) and the two other architects of upcoming energy and climate legislation.

It highlights the balancing act Kerry and his allies face as they try to craft legislation that can attract industry and GOP backing without hemorrhaging support among liberals and environmentalists.

Wider drilling is part of the compromise bill that Kerry and Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are drafting and hope to bring to the Senate floor this year.

The coastal Democrats, in a letter to the three this week, laud the effort to write a climate bill, noting their states are at risk from sea level rise, but say a major expansion of offshore drilling will cause them to drop their support.

“But we hope that as you forge legislation, you are mindful that we cannot support legislation that will mitigate one risk only to put our coasts at greater peril from another source,” the 10 Democrats wrote.

The letter is signed by Democratic Sens. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonBottom Line Bottom Line Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (Fla.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHouse to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Senators ask Treasury to probe Brazilian meatpacker with major US footprint MORE (N.J.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Trump DOJ under fire over automaker probe The Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks MORE (R.I.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (Md.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate Democrats aim to repeal rules blocking Trump tax law workarounds Congress briefed on Iran after Saudi oil attacks Senate Democrats hesitant to go all-in on impeachment probe MORE (Md.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Ted Kaufman (Del.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE (Ore.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens MORE (Ore.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedThis week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Fury over Trump Syria decision grows Democrats warn Trump's Turkey sanctions don't go far enough MORE (R.I.).

The March 23 letter cites environmental risks from spills. The senators also fear that development could impede military training activities.

The 10 Democrats do not provide specifics about the degree of offshore drilling expansion that would cause them to withhold support for the climate and energy bill, and Kerry, Graham and Lieberman have not yet released bill text. But Graham and lawmakers who have been briefed on the nascent plan say it gives coastal states discretion over the extent of development off their shores.

The letter says that any level of increased access must be coupled with leasing reforms that push companies to develop areas already under lease before new regions are opened.