"The Senate climate debate cranks up this week with a series of hearings and high-level meetings aimed at producing legislation that can be matched up with last month's House-passed bill.
Four top Obama administration officials -- Energy Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar -- testify [Tuesday] before the Environment and Public Works Committee, with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) to follow on a separate panel. The four Cabinet-level members are scheduled after the hearing to attend the Democratic senators' weekly climate meetings.
On Wednesday morning, the Senate Finance Committee weighs in with a hearings on the international trade issues that factor into a global warming bill. And the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hears later that afternoon about the European Union's five-year effort to control climate-changing emissions while dealing with competition from developing countries.
These are the first in a long line of Senate climate hearings as the Democratic-led chamber tries to cobble together a bill in time for Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) Sept. 18 deadline for all committees to clear their pieces of the legislation."