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Senators Seek to Halt GHG Regulations

Senators of both  parties have proposed bills that would prevent the federal government from regulating greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced a bill that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directly regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, as the EPA is now attempting to do. The EPA has ordered states to begin issuing GHG permits to big emitters such as oil refineries, coal-burning power plants, cement factories and glass makers.

The bill would also bar federal agencies from taking GHGs into account when implementing the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Hill said Barrasso’s bill is highly unlikely to pass.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va., pictured) introduced a less aggressive bill that would delay EPA regulation of industrial carbon dioxide emissions by two years. Co-sponsors include Democratic senators Jim Webb of Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bloomberg said

Rockefeller said the delay will give Congress time to draw up a new energy bill.

“Many of us agree that Congress, not the EPA, must be the decision-maker on such a challenging issue,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

The EPA introduced its regulations of GHG emissions during the last Congress, as it became increasingly clear that lawmakers would not be approving the creation of a cap-and-trade scheme or renewable electricity standard.

Meanwhile the Obama administration is planning a fresh push to get congressional support for energy legislation. Last year’s failed renewable electricity standard has been supplanted by a “clean energy standard”, unveiled by Obama in his State of the Union address.

The clean energy standard would include not only renewables but also nuclear power, “clean coal” and natural gas. Obama proposed that these sources should make up 80 percent of the country’s electricity by 2035.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he supports the inclusion of nuclear power, as long as the legislation creates incentives for renewable sources.

But the Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, said such legislation would force consumers and businesses to buy energy they cannot afford.

And policy analyst Christine Tezak of RW Baird told Reuters that energy legislation seems not to be the Obama administration’s priority, as it deals with the political unrest in Egypt.

Instability in that country, and fears of a ripple effect through the Middle East, have sent the price of crude oil soaring. On Monday the European and Asian benchmark of Brent crude oil rose over $100 for the first time since October 2008, TheStreet reports.  Brent crude settled at $101.01 a barrel, up $1.59, while the U.S. measure West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed at $92.19, up $2.85 or 3.2 percent – again, a price unmatched since October 2008, the LA Times said.

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5 thoughts on “Senators Seek to Halt GHG Regulations

  1. Contrary to Ms. Tezak’s observation that clean energy legislation is not a priority for the Obama administration due to the situation in Egypt it seems the Egyptian political crisis only strengthens the case for a clear bipartisan energy policy that reduces our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. As the president has said we’re capable of pursuing more than one worthy goal at a time.

  2. Interesting that a branch one of the few branches of the Government that is actually willing to standing up to the corporations that have taken over our country is not respected by other politicans. I wonder if they could be thinking about special interests?
    Wyoming…hmm, shale that is helping his state, so he would be against anything that could affect that. West virginai and Coal companies…. hmm.

    I guess it doesnt matter if holding corporation accountable and looking out for the greater long term good is the right thing to do.

    Lets face it, we live in a short term soceity here in the US, which is a huge factor adding to the problems our nation faces. 2 years? why, relections? new presidental candidates?

  3. I take issue with Rockefeller’s statement that
    “Many of us agree that Congress, not the EPA, must be the decision-maker on such a challenging issue,” Rockefeller said in a statement. Congress!!! Those folks who are beholden to industry lobbyists and campaign $$?
    Be in charge of what the EPA – should be doing?
    Obviously, none of these people care to leave a planet worthy of inhabitating for the children who follow them. Nor the rest of the “Other Species” of beings who call this place home…who can’t protest in their own behalf.

    Stop being comfortably numb with what is going on here folks!!!!!!! Humans continually prove again and again, that as a species, it does deserve this planet…..

  4. Screw them, they are all @$$h01e$. I hate to get down to their level, but this is ridiculous. Why don’t you just go on the 5 o’clock news and announce yourself as a criminal and get it over with. Lobbyists should be banned period, just a legalized form of bribery and everyone knows it! Damn sometime I want to just…

  5. I could not agree more on NOT wanting Congress to make the decisions. EPA is much more qualified and Jackson is doing a great job of walking the delicate line and not pushing too hard. But let them do their job!!! Politicos don’t seem to have the nads to do it – so just get out of the way. We are a laughing stock to the rest of the world – but at least we could blame Bushes in the past. Obama blew it by not making this a priority when the dems had control. And what is up with McCaskill????

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