By Ben Geman - 04/02/13 10:49 AM EDT
The top Republican on the Senate’s Environment committee said that President Obama wants to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, a proposal the White House has flatly ruled out offering.
“That is the ultimate goal of this president,” Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said in an interview with WND.com.
Vitter and other conservative lawmakers and groups have stepped up their campaigns against the notion of imposing a tax on industrial carbon emissions, which would require legislation to achieve.
Taxes or fees on coal and oil producers, power plants and other sources have little traction in Congress, although some liberal lawmakers have recently pitched new proposals.
Vitter is the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which is vetting Gina McCarthy, Obama’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Vitter used the interview to preview his approach to McCarthy’s upcoming April 11 appearance before the panel.
“A lot of my questions will focus on openness and transparency – how is she going to change the abysmal record we have had so far with the Obama EPA,” Vitter told WND.com’s radio branch.
WND.com is a conservative outlet that’s best known for articles promoting “birther” conspiracy theories about Obama.
Vitter said a top priority for his work on the committee will be to “hold EPA’s feet to the fire.”
The Louisiana senator has criticized the use of personal or secondary government email accounts by some EPA officials, and more broadly accuses the agency of shielding its work from public view.
“A lot of us are very concerned that they are colluding behind the scenes with far-left environmental groups, not sharing that with Congress and with the public, not being open about their goals and their policies,” he said.