"I cannot support the House bill in its present form," Byrd said in a statement. "I continue to believe that clean coal can be a 'green' energy. Those of us who understand coal's great potential in our quest for energy independence must continue to work diligently in shaping a climate bill that will ensure access to affordable energy for West Virginians."
It is no surprise that the Democrat, who grew up in grew up in West Virginia coalfields, would oppose cap and trade. After all, Obama says cap and trade will bankrupt anyone who builds a coal-powered plant.
Also, Senator Byrd's was one of the two sponsors of the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which the senate unanimously passed, 95–0, in 1997. Byrd-Hagel stated the sense of the Senate that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States." Byrd-Hagel prevented Clinton from even trying to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which like the Waxman-Markey "cap and trade" climate change legislation, would have put the U.S. economy at an economic disadvantage to China and India.