Senate Republicans accuse Dems of using ‘climate talkathon’ to suck up to megadonor

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Shortly after Democrats held a 14-hour “Climate Talkathon,” Republicans took to the Senate floor to slam Democratic calls for climate regulations that would raise energy costs for families.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that while global warming is a serious issue, lawmakers need to approach it with a “level of humility and a level of respect” for the impact it will have on people throughout the country who will see their energy bills skyrocket under cap-and-trade or a carbon tax.

“I can’t support anything that would increase the energy costs of the people in my state,” Murkowski said on the Senate floor, adding that Alaskans pay high prices for power — in some areas gasoline and heating fuel cost more than $6 per gallon.

Murkowski also commented on President Obama’s willingness to bypass Congress in order to implement global warming policies. Obama has said that if Congress does not pass a substantive climate bill, he will use executive orders to implement one.

“Either pass legislation that we don’t like, or he’ll pass regulations that we don’t like,” Murkowski said. “We have to be aware of the energy poverty in far too many places in this country and around the world.”

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn spoke against Democrats’ calls for more “job-killing greenhouse gas regulations.” Cornyn slammed Democrats for spending 14 hours talking about global warming while millions of Americans are still out of work and losing their health care.

“It’s hard to square the message with the middle class and middle class prosperity,” Cornyn said.

Democrats were also slammed for organizing the 14-hour “Climate Talkathon” to please San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, who has pledged $100 million to make global warming a top tier issue in this year’s elections.

“So we had an all-night Talkathon, and what did it accomplish? A waste of time and more hot air… to satisfy their liberal donor,” said Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso referring to Steyer.

“But for most of these folks, they just want to talk all night. They don’t want to do anything, they just want to talk,” Barrasso added. “It’s astonishing that the most vulnerable Democrats did not show their faces last night.”

Four Democrats — Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana — did not show up last night because they face tough re-election races this November.

“Democrats know that climate change legislation is a non-starter in an election year,” said South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune. “Last night’s Talkathon… allowed Democrats to assure their donors that they’re focused on climate change.”

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