And Shimkus said that even if there was an agreement that included coal and nuclear, he doesn’t think Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would allow it to come to the floor because of opposition from the party’s liberal wing.
A House Democratic leadership aide said: “Nuclear and coal will be in the mix; that’s inevitable. It’s how we innovate so that they are responsibly in the mix that is the question.”
The Senate will be the focus first because the House might end up taking a pass if the Senate can’t pass a bill.
Senate conservatives remain opposed to major cap-and-trade legislation that they describe as a massive tax increase that will send jobs overseas and hit families with higher costs.
“I don’t think the science is there yet,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said. “Cap-and-trade is a tax increase.”
And Coburn complained that the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill has so many carve-outs, “they bought off everyone.”
“All we need is two or three more years of not doing something stupid and the science will regain the debate instead of the political activists, and we’ll have policies based on science and not emotion,” he said.
Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) also ripped cap-and-trade, especially for distressed states like his already suffering from a shrinking manufacturing base.
“It’ll kill us. Are you kidding me?” he said.
Voinovich acknowledges global warming is a problem but said the focus should be on global solutions and technology, not adding burdens to U.S. industry that will cause power prices to surge even more.
“I want to get it done,” he said of fighting global warming. “There is a sense of urgency. But let’s not do something that makes us kill our economy and does not have any real impact,” he said. Voinovich said China and India are the big problems with greenhouse gases, and nothing the United States does on its own will solve the problem.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.