The new House is expected to pass a bill that prevents EPA from regulating greenhouse gases via the Clean Air Act. Today Politico examines the prospects for passage in the Senate. This may be a fruitless exercise considering the likelihood of a presidential veto, but no less important in symbolism than votes on Obamacare repeal.
Politico splits the Senators into four categories: those supportive of EPA regulations; those opposed; those on the fence; and those who lean in favor of a two-year delay that has been proposed by West Virginia Democrat Sen. Jay Rockefeller. From the report:
Any congressional attempt to limit regulatory authority is always difficult to achieve, an industry lobbyist told POLITICO. But given the sluggish economy and the long list of moderate Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2012, “the chances are better than ever” for a vote to limit EPA’s authority….
Administration officials have said President Barack Obama would veto a bill to strip EPA of its ability to regulate greenhouse gases. But while the president would almost certainly veto a stand-alone measure to limit EPA rules, it could get more complicated if the measure is attached as a rider to a major spending package. That could also increase the likelihood of a deal for a one- or two-year wait….
The eight senators seen as fence-sitters on legislation to block EPA all opposed a measure by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) last June that would have broadly upended the agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas legislation, but they may be willing to support something narrower – such as a two-year delay – this time around.
Five of the lawmakers in play are swing-state Democrats facing reelection battles in 2012: Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
But the Senate’s radicals sound like they will fight a deal:
A group of Senate Democrats intends to hold weekly meetings to discuss plans to fend off attacks on the EPA, said Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). The meetings will center on “protecting the public, to make sure that they don’t do anything to weaken the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act; to make sure that they don’t stop the states from their work in protecting the public from carbon and other pollutants.”
So don’t expect people who are clearly detached from reality, and can’t differentiate between what we exhale and real airborne toxins, to back off their views that they must control every aspect of our lives.