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McConnell: Cap and Trade Dead in Senate
USAgNet - 08/26/2010

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that cap-and-trade energy legislation is "dead" in the Senate.

Echoing other opponents of the Obama administration's climate change initiative, McConnell told the Pike County Chamber of Commerce meeting at the East Kentucky Expo Center that a "national energy tax" has no future this term, and probably will never have a chance again if the GOP sweeps the midterm elections as predicted by many pollsters.

"I think cap-and-trade, which is also known as the national energy tax, is dead in the United States Senate," McConnell said, according to various media covering the event.

The Senate failed to reach an agreement on a comprehensive energy bill that included caps on greenhouse gases earlier this year after Democrats failed to garner enough support in the face of widespread Republican opposition. McConnell's statement represents the boldest pronouncement yet from a top lawmaker as members gear up for the midterm elections.

Already passed by the House, the cap-and-trade plan was once one of the most important pieces of legislation pushed by Obama. Republicans say it would stymie the economy and job creation at a time when it has struggled to emerge from the recession. Democrats see it as a key measure to help reverse the effects of global warming.

"Cap-and-trade is nonsense. It has been suggested the administration could try to accomplish it with an executive order," the senator said. "But I doubt that. It would be the height of arrogance for the administration to do this without Congress."

Sen. McConnell said he realized it is a good idea to reduce carbon emissions, but cap-and-trade legislation was not the way to accomplish that.

"We all know its a good idea to reduce emissions," he said. "We need to use everything available - clean coal technology, nuclear power, hybrid cars. But cap-and-trade would put clamps on the economy."

He went on to say carbon emissions is a global problem.

"China and India are also contributing to the problem," McConnell said. "Some countries are reducing emissions, and some aren't."

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