Lugar: Cap and trade lacks the votes

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said today that cap and trade lacks the votes to pass Congress this session.

"The votes just haven't been there, and I'm not sure they are now," Lugar told reporters, adding that cap and trade was "a tough sell to people who are in a recession and whose light bills are going up."

More from the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:
Lugar said there are similar internal disagreements in other countries, including China. Combined, the U.S. and China produce the most pollution in the world.

"Clearly, this is one world," he said. "The atmosphere is filled, already, with CO2 from emissions from our two countries.

"Both countries have a lot of coal, and we have many industries that have been dependent upon that coal and feel they will be hurt competitively."

Lugar has been a moderate on climate change issues, but his homestate of Indiana relies heavily on coal, an emissions heavy source of energy that would become much more expensive under cap-and-trade regulation.

Democratic leaders (and President Obama) hope to pass Waxman-Markey out of the House in time for the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen this December.