For the first time in recent memory, climate change was broached on one of the four network Sunday political talk shows. It happened on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, during a debate on the merits of the Keystone XL pipeline between Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).
In explaining the bipartisan appeal of a Senate bill that would approve the pipeline, Sen. Hoeven noted recent polling indicating that more than 70 percent of American voters support its approval. To which Sen. Coons gave an incredible response, claiming that what the American people REALLY want isn’t the Keystone Pipeline, but rather a carbon tax and/or EPA climate regulations.
Here’s what Sen. Coons said in full:
But frankly Senator Hoeven keeps talking about what 70 percent of Americans want. 70 percent of Americans in a recent national poll also said they want a carbon tax or they want the EPA to be able to regulate carbon dioxide.
Does anyone actually believe that 70 percent of Americans are clamoring for a carbon tax or EPA climate regulations? Anyone? Of course, I don’t doubt the existence of such a poll, which assuredly was commissioned by a green special interest. Instead, I sincerely doubt the poll’s accuracy. After all, the Senate has demonstrated time and time again that opposition to climate change mitigation policy is healthily bipartisan. Why would that be the case, if 70 percent of Americans support such a policy?
If indeed there are as many American in support of a carbon tax as there are who support the Keystone XL pipeline, then wouldn’t the Senate have issued up a number of pro-carbon tax bills during the last Congress, when Democrats were in charge? I can only find one example of a vote on a carbon tax in the Senate during the last Congress, and it was prompted by a Republican. It occurred in March, 2013, during a rare vote when then-Senate Majority Leader allowed amendments. Sen. Roy Blount (R-MO) offered one to get Senators on the record in opposition to a carbon tax; it (the amendment) received support from a bipartisan majority, including 8 Senate Democrats. On the other hand, during the 113th Congress, the Senate did take repeated votes on bills regarding the Keystone pipeline. Each time, the measures enjoyed bipartisan support even greater than the bipartisan opposition to a carbon tax. In fact, Sen. Coons voted in favor of one such effort, a pro-Keystone budget amendment offered by Sen. Hoeven.
That Coons’s claim is preposterous is aptly demonstrated by Sen. Hoeven’s priceless physical reaction, which I’ve re-depicted below with photographic stills I captured from the interview when the Pennsylvania Senator avers his polling data. Sen. Hoeven executed a head shift into a hand wringing that ends with a cocking of the chin to the side, as if to impart: “What on earth is this guy talking about?” See for yourself:
Below, I’ve interlaced what Coons said with pictures of Hoeven’s reactions.
“But frankly Senator Hoeven keeps talking about what 70 percent of Americans want…
…70 percent of Americans in a recent national poll also said…
…they want a carbon tax…
or they want the EPA to be able to regulate carbon dioxide.”