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Democrat predicts 'big fight' over carbon pricing in the Senate

Democrat predicts 'big fight' over carbon pricing in the Senate
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseZombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Progressives threaten to block bipartisan infrastructure proposal This week: Democrats face fractures in spending fight MORE (D-R.I.) on Wednesday predicted that the Senate would see a “big fight” over carbon pricing but said he believes lawmakers will make progress on the issue this year. 

Carbon pricing, which can raise the cost of fossil energy and give clean energy an edge, is something the White House hasn't explicitly endorsed, but also hasn't closed the door on. 

Nevertheless, Whitehouse predicted during a conversation hosted by French Ambassador Philippe Étienne that there will be a major push in the Senate. 

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"There may be a very big fight in the Senate on this issue when we get to where the Senate has a role," he said. 

Asked whether there was a type of carbon pricing bill Senate swing vote Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC US, EU pledge to work together on climate amid reported dissension on coal Senate to hold hearing on DC statehood bill MORE (D-W.Va.) would support, Whitehouse said it's "too early to tell."

"I think at the end of the day the answer is yes, but we have to get to the end of the day," he added. 

He said that on the issue he’d watch both the Senate and a global climate summit scheduled for later this year in Glasgow, but ultimately predicted it would be achieved this year. 

"I think we get there once we get through our process, and I think we get there this year, but there's my optimism right there," Whitehouse said. 

He added that there’s urgency to take this on now because Democrats have the Senate, the House and the presidency. 

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"There are a lot of us in the Senate who really think that this is our political moment. We may not have another chance. If we lose the House, if we lose the Senate, if Biden doesn't win reelection in 2024," he said. 

Rather than a carbon price, the White House is endorsing carbon reduction through measures including a clean electricity standard, which would require electricity suppliers to get all their power from carbon-free sources by 2035.

National climate adviser Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyOvernight Energy: Company officially nixes Keystone XL pipeline | Government watchdog finds failings, but no Trump influence, in clearing of Lafayette Square Democrats blast Biden climate adviser over infrastructure remarks Democrat predicts 'big fight' over carbon pricing in the Senate MORE told reporters earlier this year that she wouldn’t close the door on a carbon tax, but also stressed that a clean electricity standard is President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE’s preferred method.