Amid Oil Crisis, Kerry Calls for Policy Shift

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. said that he is introducing legislation that will move the United States to a "new energy economy" of producing green, clean energy - steps he says will help ensure that the disaster in the Gulf region won't happen again.

Speaking Wednesday on CBS' The Early Show, Kerry said that he and Sen. Lieberman have introduced the American Power Act, which emphasizes clean energy.

The goal, he said, is to "reduce pollution, clean up the air and water, create jobs and increase America's independence, thereby strengthening our national security."

However, he said that the United States was not yet in a position to freeze offshore drilling.

"We're not going to stop drilling all of a sudden," Kerry said.

Kerry's comments come as a new CBS News poll shows dwindling public supportfor offshore drilling after the Gulf oil spill.

The senator said his legislation would restrict drilling but give more power to the states.

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Meanwhile, a second, smaller oil containment box was lowered into the sea near the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The box was being slowly submerged to the seabed Tuesday, but it won't be placed over the spewing well right away. BP spokesman Bill Salvin says engineers want to make sure everything is configured correctly and avoid the same buildup of ice crystals that stymied their first attempt at using a larger box that was about 100 tons.

This box will be connected to a ship on the surface by a pipe-within-a-pipe when it's lowered. Crews plan to pump in heated water and methanol so ice won't build up.

Salvin said undersea robots will position the box over the gusher by Thursday.

More than 4 million gallons of oil have spewed from the well since a drilling rig exploded April 20.

You can watch the interview with Kerry below:

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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