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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has seriously eroded chances for the Senate to pass a climate change bill this year, Senator Lindsey Graham said on Monday, as he also leveled new criticisms against the legislation he helped to write.

Graham, a Republican seen as the key to bringing along more Republican votes in the uphill fight to pass a bill in the Senate, spent about six months working with Democratic Senator John Kerry and independent Senator Joseph Lieberman on the nearly 1,000-page bill to battle global warming and increase domestic energy production.

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