CLIMATE CHANGE BILL UPDATE.

Yesterday afternoon, John Kerry held a conference call with bloggers that covered a range of topics, from international accords to probably the hottest domestic topic, the Lieberman-Warner bill, or "America's Climate Security Act." On Thursday, the bill made it through its first (and fairly contentious) mark-up hearing. The disagreement between Dems is over whether the bill is tough enough; it aims for 63 percent emissions cuts by 2050, while others (and science) says we need 80 percent. And with Republicans, well, it's still a question of whether most of them will support any targets for emissions cuts.

Kerry seemed to think that worries about passing weaker legislation now and getting stuck with it are unfounded. We can pass a plan now and strengthen it later, he says, as support for action on climate change grows among citizens and businessfolk:

Everything along the way on this issue has been a question of moving mountains. People keep saying you're never going to get one out, you're never going to get Republicans on board. Every step of the way, we've been able to confound that, and grow the consensus, and bring new players to the table […] As you see the science come in month to month, week to week, all of it more dire and more compelling than month and weeks before, we're reaching more people. We've got to just keep pounding away and change it […] There are any number of bills that pass through here that we revisit, and improve and make better later on.

For more on this, Brian Beutler's been covering the hearings on it over on Gristmill. The question of how much to push for right now is a big one; do you hold out for a better deal, or push through one that stands a better chance of passing?

--Kate Sheppard

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