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From Think Progress via Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:

McCaskill: I’m Going To Make ‘My Friends On The Left Very Unhappy’ On Clean Energy Legislation

Last month, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which aims to transition America to a clean energy economy while combating climate change. After the bill’s passage, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) tweeted that she wanted to “fix” the bill’s cap on carbon pollution because it would “unfairly punish” Missouri’s families and businesses….

….[excerpt from a radio interview] MCCASKILL: Well, I’m going to make people, my friends on the left, very unhappy and I’m going to make those who don’t think global warming is real very unhappy because I’m probably going to be working with a group of moderates in the middle to try to come up with a bill that doesn’t punish coal-dependent states like Missouri. We’ve got to be very careful with what we do with this legislation. For one, we need to be a leader in the world, but we don’t want to be a sucker. 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 ten minutes. So, I’m very conscious of the fact that Missouri businesses and Missouri families don’t have a choice as to where they get their utilities generation. It’s coming primarily from coal now and it will take a decade or longer to move to either sequestered coal or other forms of energy that will be more responsible as it relates to get out from underneath the thumb of foreign oil and reducing our carbon imprint. So, I’ll be, I won’t vote for the version ever that was voted on last year in the Senate. I would vote against that version. I don’t think the version that passed the House will pass the Senate in the same shape, so 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…

Senator McCaskill on cap and trade in Kansas City on December 15, 2008:

Question: I’d like to start with an easy issue and that is climate change. [audience laughter] I, I’ve been told that you are reluctant to support a cap and trade program or some other major federal effort to address climate change until the economy improves. It seems that every week, there’s a new study that comes out that says that the consequences of climate change are coming much more rapidly and much more severe than we have anticipated. And my, my concern is that we’ve really got to address this climate change issue early. We need to expect, in this climate change, for all of us to share some sacrifice. I have some pain, if a cap and trade program or a carbon tax, or something like that, is the best way to begin to address climate change. I believe we’ve got to do it.

Claire McCaskill: Well, let me, say that I – first of all, I support cap and trade. And my hesitation is not as much about the economy but the way it was, it was drafted in the beginning. And I think we’re going to do a better job as we got back at it again under the Obama administration. First of all, I hope that you noticed that the person who is going to head the Department of Energy is, his foremost expertise is in the area of global warming and climate change. And so, I think we’re going to have somebody at the head of the department that certainly understands the scientific risks that our planet faces because of what’s going on in our atmosphere. The way the bill was originally drafted, we were talking about fifty possibly, trillion dollars, as much as fifty trillion dollars being pre-spent. What they’ve done is they’ve divided up this money, and this is the money that would come about as a result of the auction. Essentially what you would do, is you would trade a commodity, a commodity is your ability to pollute. So if you were polluting, you’d have to pay for it. You’d have to buy goods to allow you to pollute. And if you weren’t polluting you earn benefits. So it’s really putting into the free market system an incentive to not put out carbon emissions. That’s essentially the simplest way to explain cap and trade. You, so, it becomes a free market. Now they’ve done this in Europe and they’ve had some success, but they’ve also had some failures. And we can learn from that. One of the things I didn’t want to see happen is, they were so busy handing out this money, to California and other – to buy them off, and this was all money that we weren’t going to spend in Congress. It was going to be spent by a board. Well as a former auditor, the idea that we were going to pre-spend fifty, over fifty trillion dollars without a whole lot of oversight kind of frightened me. And what I was most worried about was that the money wasn’t going to help citizens who were going to be faced with astronomical increases in utility costs. I want to make sure that we take the money from the auction and get it back to regular folks to help pay the utility bills. So it’s not, I’m, I’m for cap and trade, the devil’s in the details about how this is going to work. And I think we’re going to find that middle. And I know that Senator Obama agrees with me on this, he completely supports cap and trade, as did in fact, John McCain. They both were in favor of cap and trade. Now we’ve got to figure out how to make it work in a way that doesn’t damage working families and the middle class any more than they’re currently being damaged by this economy. And I think we can do that. I think we can do that. Okay, yes…

Some of the comments at Think Progress are very interesting:

spencers mom:…Right. Because only people on the left will be affected by global climate change…

Lefty Liberal:…I live in her state of Mizzery, and I voted for her in 2006. If she keeps siding with the coal and energy companies, then she won’t get my vote in 2012.

The way Obama is pandering to the right, and now Clair McCaskill, I’m not sure there will be anyone on the ballot I can vote for…

MontereyDean:…She’s right, you know. If saving the planet means being unfair to Missouri, it’s just not worth it.

I used to think this woman was one of the few remaining senators with a brain. You live and learn….

EugeneDebs:…Before we all go the way of the triceratops I think we ought to build a monument for whatever creature comes after us, perhaps a cross between cockroaches and Kieth Richards. It would be letters written a hundred feet high on the wall of th Grand canyon saying. We could have saved it but it would have cost too much money…

As for making some people unhappy Senator McCaskill, you already have. The right doesn’t want compromise, they only want your failure: And that’s how Washington works – an infinite loop until time runs out.