In last night’s speech, President Obama remarked, “So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.”

Today the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on the scientific objectives for climate change legislation, but according to a reliable source, the hearing evolved into a debate amongst Democrats arguing on the merit of a carbon tax versus a cap-and-trade.

Several members of the committee raised concerns over a cap-and-trade program and questioned whether a direct carbon tax may be the better option.

Disagreement among Congressional advocates for CO2 legislation could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to regulating carbon dioxide. It will be difficult for any bill labeled a carbon tax in a recessionary environment. Despite a cap-and-trade scheme essentially acting as a tax in disguise, a number of Democrats are beginning to point out the same flaws we’ve been pointing out for years. Cap-and-trade is costly, inefficient and unpredictable. Europe’s current carbon trading debacle is perfect evidence.

Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman emphasizes that a cap-and-trade program is nothing more than a regressive tax that will raise prices and cost Americans jobs – all for little, if any, environmental gain.

If the legislators calling for carbon cuts are beginning to call a cap-and-trade what it really is, a less predictable version of a carbon tax, there is plenty of hope Americans won’t stand for it.

Stay tuned for updates and quotes from Members of Congress once the hearing transcripts are posted.