'Sure Hope So': Harry Reid Wants to Pass Carbon Tax Bill After Midterms

July 22, 2014 - 6:04 AM

Harry Reid

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hopes to move a carbon tax bill after the midterms. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was asked Monday if Democrats will move a carbon tax bill after the midterm election.

"I sure hope so," he told a "clean energy" conference call.

The reporter asked Reid what would change after the midterm to put carbon tax legislation back on the table:

"Well, I think what's happening in the world," Reid replied. "I mean we have -- as we speak, we have wildfires raging in five or six different states in the west. I mean raging.

"I heard in a briefing I had this morning, a big fire in Washington is zero percent contained -- zero. You can see the fires burning in the west from satellites miles above the sky. It's -- so there are lots of reasons why we need to take another look at this."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is among the Democrats pushing for a carbon tax, which would raise the price of energy for everyone.

In a speech on the Senate floor last month, Whitehouse said the federal tax code should be used to address climate change:

"I believe carbon-driven climate change hurts our economy, damages our infrastructure, and harms public health," Whitehouse said on June 25. "Yet those costs are not factored into the cost of fossil fuels. That means the cost of the pollution has been borne by the public.

"I believe we should adopt a carbon fee to correct this market failure and return all its revenue to the American people..."

A carbon tax bill won't advance unless Democrats retake the House and retain control of the Senate in November. With that goal in mind, President Obama was heading west on Tuesday to raise money for his party.

His three-day trip to the West Coast includes fundraising events in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles -- "less than four months ahead of midterm elections that could change Washington's balance of power," as The Associated Press put it.