Global warming deniers are not welcome in a club being formed by U.S. Sens. Mike Braun and Chris Coons.

Braun, a Republican from Indiana, and Coons, a Delaware Democrat, announced Wednesday the launch of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus.

“If you're not accepting the basic chemistry and physics that when you put carbon into the atmosphere you're creating a greenhouse effect, I think this is probably not the right place to be. I think what we're looking at is what do we do to mitigate it, what do we do to find early common ground,” Braun said in a conference call with news media.

Coons said caucus members would be any senator “who is willing to say we have a clear challenge with climate and we have to take some action. Now let's debate what that action is, and let's have as broad a spectrum of possible options on the table and try to find the thing that can get unanimous support from a broadly bipartisan group.”

Coons said the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus will have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans and will “work to find common ground on solutions that have an actual shot at becoming law.”

Legislation that he said might be addressed include proposals for improving energy efficiency, funding climate-friendly research and development, offering economic incentives to companies that reduce emissions and his own bill for imposing fees on the generation of carbon dioxide.

“We're not looking to produce an enactable legislative agenda in a matter of weeks or months. We're looking to begin a constructive and healthy conversation about how do we move forward,” Coons said.

Congress has hundreds of caucuses, also known as Congressional Member Organizations, that advocate for a variety of interests and causes. Coons said the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus is needed because “the current conversations in Congress around this issue have largely been polarized and unproductive.”

The House Climate Solutions Caucus formed in 2016. No lawmaker from Indiana is among the 41 Democrats and 22 Republicans who are its members.

“If you have no one in the Senate talking about it, that's not good, regardless of what's going on in the House,” Braun said.

Braun said he agreed “without hesitation” when Coons approached him about creating the Senate caucus together.
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