7 GOP Senators Can Change the World We need an energy bill, quickly By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jul 21, 2010 1:10 PM CDT 25 comments Comments A flock of geese fly past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Newser) – Thomas Friedman is getting antsy about the energy bill languishing in the Senate. He blames Republicans for reducing the debate to insults about "climate change" and "carbon taxers" and Democrats for not fighting back. To get things moving, President Obama has to get serious about rustling up the votes of seven Republican senators, which is seven more than he's got now. If he fails and the GOP takes control of Congress, this opportunity will vanish until "a climate or energy crisis" forces the issue. How to get this done? Friedman wants Republicans to offer an energy plan "consistent with their values," he writes in the New York Times. "What if the GOP said: We will support a carbon tax provided one-third of the revenue goes toward cutting corporate taxes, one-third toward cutting payroll taxes for every working American and one-third toward paying down the deficit. The GOP would actually help us get a better energy policy. Surely there are seven Republican senators who can see this. Aren’t there?"