Rep. John DingellJohn DingellNo, it doesn’t take 10 years to get approval to build 'a simple road’ The Memo: Firestorm over Russia probe intensifies Ex-Dem lawmaker on GOP memo release: ‘Lock every single one of these bastards up’ MORE (D-Mich.) didn't give his friend Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreJoe Lieberman: We’re well beyond partisanship, our national government has lost civility Trump doesn't start a trade war, just fires a warning shot across the bow Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE a free pass when he questioned the former VP during his House testimony today.

"Cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one," Dingell said.

He pushed Gore to explain why adopting cap-and-trade wouldn't lead to the same failures Europe encountered with such policies. And he pushed the former VP to explain why America should make such a sacrifice when other big polluters are not.

"They're going to skin us," Dingell said of industrial polluters like China. "How do we protect our people?" he added.

Dingell is the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, a subcommittee of which Gore was appearing before today. Dingell was replaced by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who is sponsoring the legislation under consideration.

The Michigan Democrat said he wants to make sure energy-intensive industries are allowed to transition into any new regulatory scheme.