Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said President Obama would likely renew his call for a tax on carbon emissions at a White House speech later Tuesday.
“Later today, we expect the president to talk about the weather at the White House,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Presumably, he’ll use the platform to renew his call for a national energy tax. And I’m sure he’ll get loud cheers from liberal elites — from the kind of people who leave a giant carbon footprint and then lecture everybody else about low-flow toilets.”
“The president’s own party couldn’t even pass a national energy tax when it had complete control of Washington,” McConnell said. “The American people weren’t willing to go along with considerable domestic pain for negligible global gain then. It’s foolish to think they’d assent to a bad idea now.”
McConnell said his constituents are being hurt by Obama’s “war on coal,” with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulating coal power plant emissions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Republicans refuse to put forward proposals that actually address climate change.
“To belittle the President of the United States for wanting to talk about climate change is pretty obviously wrong,” Reid said. “What are the Republican answers to this climate change — which is real — more oil production, blocking regulations that help protect the health and environment, [and] denying climate change is happening at all.”
Later Tuesday, the Senate is expected to take its first procedural vote on whether to proceed to consideration of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill.
McConnell blasted Reid for not allowing Republicans to offer more than five amendments on items such as EPA coal regulations and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The American people deserve a real debate on how we can best tap our own extraordinary natural resources to achieve energy independence at home and how we can help our allies overseas through increased exports of American energy,” McConnell said. “These are the kinds of things we should be voting on this week — proposals that can help our economy and boost middle class incomes and jobs while strengthening our national security and lessening our dependence on foreign sources of energy.”