Now that health care reform is out of the way (praise f’ing Zeus!), what’s next for the Senate? Several issues are jockeying for attention: jobs, financial reform, immigration, and others. More than one senator has said that there’s just no time to get to climate and energy this year, especially after the protracted and divisive health care fight.

Now, finally, it looks like there’s some pushback. Last Friday, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, co-signed by a broad and diverse selection of Senate Democrats, expressing strong support for passing comprehensive climate and energy legislation this year.

“Our lack of a comprehensive clean energy policy hurts job creation and increases regulatory uncertainty throughout our economy,” Udall writes. “Businesses are waiting on Congress before investing billions in energy, transportation, manufacturing, building and other sectors. … We need to take action in order to lead the emerging sectors that will drive our economic recovery.”

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Interestingly, the co-signers include several crucial moderates and fence-sitters, including Casey, Begich, Tester, Stabenow, and Cantwell. This is a positive sign that, divisions aside, real appetite remains in the Democratic caucus for tackling this issue.

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Here’s who signed:

  • Tom Udall (N.M.)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)
  • Michael Bennet (Colo.)
  • Kay Hagan (N.C.)
  • Ron Wyden (Ore.)
  • Mark Begich (Alaska)
  • Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
  • Tom Harkin (Iowa)
  • Tom Carper (Del.)
  • Mark Udall (Colo.)
  • Al Franken (Minn.)
  • Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
  • Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
  • Patty Murray (Wash.)
  • Ted Kaufman (Del.)
  • Ronald Burris (Ill.)
  • Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.)
  • Mark Warner (Va.)
  • Maria Cantwell (Wash.)
  • Arlen Specter (Pa.)
  • Jon Tester (Mont.)
  • Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

Here’s the letter [PDF].

Aaaand now of course I see that Darren Samuelsohn at E&E already scooped me on this. Damn him. At least he’s behind a pay wall!

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