Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillSen. Claire McCaskill doesn’t think the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill that passed the House in June stands much chance of passing the Senate, and she would not support the bill as it stands.

During House debate on the legislation, McCaskill expressed her concerns via Twitter: “I hope we can fix cap and trade so it doesn’t unfairly punish businesses and families in coal dependent states like Missouri.”

McCaskill has acknowledged that the science shows the need to act against climate change, but she still doesn’t seem interested in acting quickly. For a climate bill to pass, it would need “very gradual implementation as we move toward changing to wind and solar and other kinds of energy,” the senator told conservative Missouri talk radio host Mike Ferguson recently. “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.”

“We need to be a leader in the world but we don’t want to be a sucker,” she continued. “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.”

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McCaskill admits that her position on climate legislation will make her “friends on the left very unhappy.” She says she’ll be “working with a group of moderates in the middle” to shape a bill.

Last year, she voted to move the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act forward to a full vote on the floor, but that vote never happened, and afterwards McCaskill joined with 10 other senators to say she would have voted against final passage.

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