Capitol Hill’s most powerful Republicans say advocates who have been discussing a carbon tax behind closed doors are wasting their breath.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking through aides, have stated their opposition to the concept in recent days.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel had a one-word answer when asked, on Friday, whether the Speaker would ever consider a carbon tax to help address climate change and the deficit: “No.”
Similarly, McConnell spokesman John Ashbrook said Monday that “Leader McConnell opposes a national energy tax.”
While their positions are no surprise, the categorical opposition underscores the hurdles facing an ad hoc, left-right coalition of activists and policy wonks who have held a series of meetings in private to discuss the idea.