Late yesterday the United States Senate rejected Republican proposals that would have prevented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. A measure tacked onto a completely unrelated bill by Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KT) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) would have forbidden the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
A related bill by Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) passed in the House late this afternoon that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases even though a series of court cases – which ended at the U.S. Supreme Court – said EPA had the right to do so.
The House vote was symbolic because the Senate has killed the matter and in the views of critics a complete waste of taxpayer’s money. Thus a contentious attack on the Clean Air Act will end for the moment, but only for a moment.
However, look for this battle to continue as powerful coal, oil, refinery and electric power companies continue to fiercely fight all attempts at regulating green house gas emissions.
The EPA has started a process of setting standards for emissions from fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries, the source of nearly 40% of U.S. greenhouse gasses.
“I want to applaud my good friend Fred Upton for his resounding bipartisan victory against EPA’s cap-and-trade agenda,” said James Inhofe (R-OK) in a statement. “With this House vote, and 64 senators on the record in some way opposing EPA, President Obama has a clear message: stop EPA’s attack on jobs, affordable energy, and economic growth and expansion. This is by no means the end of this debate. Fred and I will continue to push this important legislation until we get it to the President’s desk,” Inhofe said.
“The Clean Air Act has had strong bipartisan support since it was passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon. The American people support EPA’s efforts to safeguard us from polluters, and I will continue to fight any effort to weaken the Clean Air Act,” said Senator Boxer Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.