"We've been dealing with a Congress where a significant portion of the other party thinks there's no such thing as global warming," according to Vice President Joe Biden.
In an interview with historian Douglas Brinkley published this week in Rolling Stone, Biden aimed squarely at congressional Republicans and their lack of enthusiasm for the environment.
The Obama administration has pushed green legislation, including changes to fuel emissions standards and tax programs to spur the clean energy sector. But many broader proposals have languished in Congress, including a bill to cap carbon emissions.
"If we had a different Congress, I think you'd see a more aggressive emissions legislation," the vice president said.
Biden told Brinkley there's nothing in the works regarding a carbon tax, "because we know it will go nowhere," but that the administration is actively partnering with other nations to curb emission. He said sweeping shifts from coal-fired energy plants to clean gas burners could cut emission and eventually replace oil-burning engines.
"Theoretically, it would be nice not to have any carbon fuels," he said. "But natural gas is a hell of a lot less polluting."
The interview comes after comments earlier this year from both President Obama and Biden, including a powerful call to action in the president's inaugural address. Biden also told attendees at the Green Ball, an event for environmental groups, to "keep the faith" in January.
"I don't intend on ending this four years without getting an awful lot more done," he said at the ball. "There is science in the White House."