UPDATE 1-Senators outline compromise U.S. climate bill

Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:17am IST

(Adds background, quote from Senator)

WASHINGTON Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. senators outlined a compromise climate bill on Thursday that emphasizes energy independence, a move that could strengthen President Barack Obama's position at U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen next week.

The compromise between Senators John Kerry, a Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, an independent, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, seeks to speed up the legislation, by casting it as a jobs and energy-independence bill.

"We are confident our climate legislation will keep American jobs in America," Lieberman told reporters, adding that the bill would get done.

The senators said a near-term target to cut U.S. emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels was achievable and reasonable. Obama is expected to pledge the United States will cut emissions at about that level at the talks in Copenhagen next week.

A 17 percent target would be less than the 20 percent reduction that was proposed in an initial Senate bill written by Kerry and Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe and Timothy Gardner)

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