Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said votes aimed at stopping the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse-gas rules will show voters where lawmakers stand on the regulations opposed by industry.
Senators may vote as early as tomorrow on at least three measures that would halt the EPA’s limits on greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for climate change. McConnell, of Kentucky, has submitted a measure to block the regulations that took effect in January, and Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, is proposing to delay the rules for two years.
McConnell said Democratic leaders may lack the votes to preserve the EPA’s authority to regulate such emissions under the Clean Air Act. A vote will force lawmakers to weigh in on rules that Republicans and some Democrats say will destroy job growth and hurt the economy, he said.
“It will be an opportunity for everybody to go on record so folks at home will know how senators feel about this massive over-regulation, which is going to have an extraordinarily adverse impact on our economy,” McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill today.
Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said today that he’s not sure whether he will support Rockefeller’s amendment because the measure would allow states to vary from a national greenhouse-gas emission standard for vehicles.
At least one Democrat, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, also plans to submit an EPA amendment tomorrow aimed at protecting some farmers and small business owners from the EPA rules.
President Barack Obama is to deliver a speech tomorrow on energy policy. Obama, who as a candidate pledged to fight climate change, pushed for EPA regulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide after Congress failed to pass legislation last year.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said Obama would veto any attempt to take away her agency’s power to regulate carbon.