Enacting Carbon Tax Needs ‘Big Lift Politically’: Wyden

The incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said enacting a carbon tax would require a “big lift politically” and he plans to instead focus on hydroelectric power, geothermal and biomass to cut carbon emissions.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, also said natural gas offers a chance for both parties to seek a compromise on energy policy. New reserves of natural gas are helping improve the economy, he said today at an event in Washington.

Wyden is scheduled to replace Senator Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, as committee head in the next Congress. Bingaman is retiring.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, also brushed aside the idea that Congress would agree to impose a tax on carbon emissions as a way to raise revenue to help resolve U.S. fiscal problems.

“If we are just looking at this as a revenue raiser for the Treasury, to me that’s bad policy,” Murkowski, top Republican on the panel, said the an event sponsored by CQ-Roll Call and the Nuclear Energy Institute.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at jsnyder24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

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