Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Sunday insisted that solving the climate change problem would be harmful to the U.S. economy.
During an interview on Meet the Press, NBC host Chuck Todd questioned the Republican senator about a recent federal government report which predicts that the impact of climate change will be devastating.
"First of all, I look forward to digging into the report and listening to what other experts on the outside have to say about it," Lee said. "I think it's important any time we take a report like that to examine what public policies they might have in mind, what public policies they would put forward that would address the problem without simultaneously devastating the U.S. economy."
"There's no question that for a variety of reasons and regardless of where one stands on the issue of climate change that the burning of fossil fuels does emit into the environment a number of things that aren't the healthiest," the senator added.
"Should we put a price on carbon?" Todd interrupted. "Are you open to a carbon tax?"
"No!" Lee exclaimed. "All the proposals I've seen so far that would address any of these issues would devastate the U.S. economy and have little or no benefit that is demonstrable from our standpoint."
"And so, I have yet to see a proposal that would bring this about," he added. "I think if we're going to move away from fossil fuels, it's got to be done through innovation. And innovation can be choked out through excessive government regulations. We can't let that happen."