A draft bill crafted by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and circulated around the Hill last week proposes a national "clean energy" production mandate that would include not only renewables but also nuclear energy and "clean" coal. Graham's plan is more robust than similar provisions included in legislation last year (the Senate Energy and Natural Resources energy-only bill and the Waxman-Markey climate bill). For example, the Graham draft includes traditional energy sources and would require that electric power companies shift more rapidly to clean energy.
Should Congress embrace a "clean energy" standard that includes cleaner forms of traditional energies, like nuclear and coal-fired plants that employ carbon, capture and storage technology? Or should such a standard be reserved for renewables, such as wind and solar? If his proposal were incorporated into a larger package, could it attract other Republicans? Would it lose Democrats?