Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) doesn’t think that the climate and energy bill that passed the House last month stands much of a chance in the Senate.
And if climate legislation is going to pass the Senate, it would have to have a “very gradual implementation,” McCaskill told conservative Missouri talk radio host Mike Ferguson on Tuesday. She also said she would not vote for the climate bill that the Senate rejected last year, nor would she vote for the House bill (Waxman-Markey) as it stands.
“If there is going to be enough support for the bill, it will be a very gradual implementation as we move toward changing to wind and solar and other kinds of energy,” said McCaskill. “I’m going to be one of those trying to craft it in a way that is very gradual, that is not going to hurt a state like Missouri that is so coal dependent.”
She said she will probably make those on the left and right angry in this debate, and will be “working with a group of moderates in the middle” to shape the Senate bill. She acknowledged that the science shows that action on climate change is urgent, and also that there is a need for the United States to be a leader in the world in crafting climate policy, but didn’t seem too interested in acting very quickly.
“We need to be a leader in the world but we don’t want to be a sucker,” she said. “And if we go too far with this, all we’re going to do is chase more jobs to China and India, where they’ve been putting up coal-fired plants every 10 minutes.”
McCaskill has also expressed concerns about the House bill via Twitter, where she posted during the debate, “I hope we can fix cap and trade so it doesn’t unfairly punish businesses and families in coal dependent states like Missouri.”
The bill that passed the House, however, already includes major concessions for the coal industry, including free distribution of the majority of pollution permits, $60 billion for carbon-capture-and-sequestration technology, and the grandfathering of old coal-fired power plants for more than a decade.