Rep. Joe Barton: Waxman ‘Doesn’t Have the Nuts’ to Pass Energy Bill

Rep. Joe Barton: Waxman ‘Doesn’t Have the Nuts’ to Pass Energy Bill


The global warming debate is heating up in the House, leading to the kind of quirky moments that are a common feature of life on the Hill.

Next week, Henry Waxman (D-CA), will bring his Waxman-Markey climate-control bill before the Energy and Commerce Committee he chairs.

Just minutes after Waxman announced he was “very, very close” to agreement on the legislation, his Republican counterpart held his own press conference, using some choice words to downplay Waxman’s confidence.

Rep. Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said Waxman “doesn’t have the nuts” to pass his energy bill.


Barton, who represents Texas’ 6th District, has received $2.5 million from the oil, gas, and utility lobbies over the course of his political career according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His proposal has no cap-and-trade provision and amends definition of “air pollutant” to exclude carbon dioxide.

A press release published by Barton’s office this week argues against the Waxman-Markey bill by warning that the CO2 caps included in the bill would impede economic growth, and put the U.S. on par with the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

“…you can test drive Waxman-Markey by sailing down to Haiti, because current CO2 emissions are where Waxman-Markey wants America’s to be in 2050. Radical environmentalists think such a CO2 level will be heaven on Earth, but the place that has actually achieved it is a nation swimming in bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, typhoid fever, dengue fever and malaria, with 47 percent illiteracy and a life expectancy of 49 years. So excuse me if I remain unconvinced.”

You can see the full press release here.

ANP producer Lagan Sebert asked Rep. Barton to clarify the connection between Waxman’s proposals and the Haitian economy.


ANP’s Sebert then asked Rep. Barton if he agreed with Pentagon-commissioned reports (see NY Times article from April, 2007 “Global Warming Called Security Threat“) citing climate change as a possible threat to national security.


Barton and Waxman will be sure to spar over these numbers – and possibly Haiti and who has the nuts – next week as the Waxman-Markey Bill is marked up in their committee.

How much traction Barton’s economic argument gets with Waxman’s fellow Democrats is something the White House will be watching closely.

  • TerenceC

    Waxman vs Barton – not even a contest. Barton is nothing but an empty suit. Waxman is quiet, but very methodical – if he wants the bill to pass, it will pass. There’s nothing barton and can do about it except cry in his grits.

  • Chris

    Ah texas, you make the rest of the country so proud.

  • Tully

    Another ideological advocacy piece from ANP, trying desparately to masquerade as objective journalism.

    A detailed read of Waxman-Markey shows that their “plan” is a major giveaway of more billions in “free” money from the government, manufactured out of thin air in the form of emissions allowances, funds that go the politically favored and well-connected and would actively shift resources from red states to blue states while having little if any actual effect on CO2 emissions.

    But hey, call it GREEN and demonize a few Republicans and no one will look at the details, right?

    As to what the cost to consumers of this monster would be, Barton nails it, and I see that TINY LITTLE DETAIL doesn’t get mentioned by ANP. Here, I’ll mention it.

    Your electricity bill will increase by 77 percent to 129 percent. Filling up your gas tank will cost anywhere from 60 percent to 144 percent more. The cost of home heating oil and natural gas will nearly double.

    All so Dem cronies can get rewarded while not really doing much of anything worthwhile. Gee, how could anyone possibly object?