In the past two years, dozens of Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives have banded together in the name of tackling climate change. This bipartisan group, the Climate Solutions Caucus, now counts 90 members evenly split between the political parties. Its existence alone has raised hopes that political foes will soon put aside differences and take long-awaited action on climate change.
So a vote on the idea of carbon taxes this summer should’ve been an easy test for the caucus. No real proposal was on the table, just a resolution condemning them, introduced by Majority Whip Steve Scalise and supported by the Koch Brothers political network. It was a symbolic vote, more of a pledge of fealty to party leadership and the fossil fuel industry. Would-be dissenters had a convenient out: Prominent, old-school Republicans had publicly embraced carbon taxes a few weeks earlier as a market-friendly way to combat global warming. The stakes were low.
The result? A total of four Republican members of the caucus defended the taxes. The rest of the Climate Solutions Caucus voted against a climate solution popular with many Republicans.
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