Rep. Barton on Cap-and-Trade: 'It Should be Dead'

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, spoke to a group of reporters in Louisiana today about the status of the cap-and-trade national energy tax that squeaked through the House last year and now lies languishing in the Senate.

“It should be dead,” Barton said of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.  “Senator Graham is trying to help resurrect it in the other house, and I wish he wouldn’t be doing that. But I don’t think it matters. The bill wouldn’t pass in the House if the vote was today.”

As reported in The Hayride, Barton was also wary of Obama’s new promises of offshore drilling.

“I’m happy he held a press conference on offshore drilling, but this administration has shown it’s reasonably good at holding press conferences to say the right things, only to have terrible follow-up at the cabinet level with processes that deliver on their statements.

“I want to see action like having MMS (the federal Minerals Management Service) change their protocols on exploration, expedite drilling and other such actions before I’m going to believe the president” on offshore drilling, Barton said.

Barton also questioned one local reporter’s framing of questions as if anthropogenic global warming were something actually proven.

“The question is, is it a problem?” Barton said.  “I think, in the case of carbon dioxide, it’s not. They’ve been trying to make the case CO2 is a problem for 20 years, and only in the most esoteric sense can they show any evidence it’s a danger to public health.”

Much more at the link.

I asked Sean Brown, Barton’s press secretary, why Barton was in Louisiana.

“Energy production — from natural gas to offshore oil — is a major industry in Louisiana and the decisions made in Washington will affect the livelihoods of millions of people in that state,” Brown told HUMAN EVENTS.  “Mr. Barton is considered one of the foremost experts on energy in Congress so Rep. Bill Cassidy invited him to come to Baton Rouge and sit down face to face with business leaders — those who work directly in the energy industry and those whose jobs depend on it — so he could explain how Republicans plan to stop the Democrats job-killing cap and tax proposal.”

(h/t Scott McKay)