Rep. Upton: 'I'm not a carbon tax guy'

Upton comments Tuesday underscore how unlikely that scenario is as talks about avoiding the "fiscal cliff" unfold. Asked if he would accept a carbon tax along with a tax cut elsewhere, Upton said, "I don’t like the idea."

But Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said a carbon tax has the potential to win wider support.

“There is a growing sense that this might be a lot easier way to raise revenue than some of the other alternatives that we have been facing over the last couple of years,” he said, noting support among some GOP economists and other Republicans, including Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz.

He called it a way to raise revenues and help address the danger of climate change. “It seems to me that both problems could be solved together,” Waxman said.