kent conradKent Conrad

Sen. Kent Conrad’s colleague in the House, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), voted against the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, and Conrad says he wouldn’t vote for the bill either. He also joined with three other moderate Democrats in suggesting that the climate vote should be put off until next year.

Last year, Conrad did not vote on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, and said he would not have ultimately voted for passage.

He believes the bill the House passed this year is better than Lieberman-Warner, but still not good enough. “They’ve certainly improved it substantially from where it was last year by what they did in the House, but it still has a ways to go before I can vote for it,” Conrad said recently.

He’s concerned about protecting home-state industries like agriculture, coal, and oil, and is expected to call for some expanded fossil-fuel production in a Senate bill.

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Conrad was a leader of the bipartisan “Gang of 10″ (which later grew to a Gang of 16) that last summer pushed for an energy package that includes both investments in renewables and increased oil and gas drilling.

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