Sen. Rockefeller Asserts Congressional Primacy Over Imperial EPA

From a news release, office of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), “Rockefeller Introduces Legislation to Suspend EPA Action and Protect Clean Coal State Economies.” The Senator said:

Today, we took important action to safeguard jobs, the coal industry, and the entire economy as we move toward clean coal technology. This legislation will issue a two year suspension on EPA regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources—giving Congress the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future. Congress, not the EPA, must be the ideal decision-maker on such a challenging issue.

Two weeks ago, I sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson challenging EPA’s potential regulation of greenhouse gases. Administrator Jackson responded quickly and showed some willingness to move the agency’s timetable for regulation to the end of 2010. This is a positive change and good progress, but I am concerned it may not be enough time. We must set this delay in stone and give Congress enough time to consider a comprehensive energy bill to develop the clean coal technologies we need. At a time when so many people are hurting, we need to put decisions about clean coal and our energy future into the hands of the people and their elected representatives, not a federal environmental agency.

House legislation is being introduced by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV).

The National Association of Manufacturers opposes EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, and the NAM contends that the agency’s attempt to hit only large, stationary emitters lacks any statutory basis. Sen. Rockefeller’s legislation is a move in the right direction.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who has sponsored a Congressional resolution of regulatory disapproval (S.J.Res. 26), issued a statement on Sen. Rockefeller’s bill:

Senator Rockefeller’s legislation is further evidence of the growing, bipartisan, and bicameral resistance to EPA’s back-door climate regulations. Given the overwhelming opposition to these actions, I’m hopeful that this bill will draw additional support and advance quickly.

If that does not occur, the disapproval resolution is guaranteed consideration in the Senate. It’s imperative that senators have an opportunity to vote on whether or not they support EPA’s costly, unilateral and unprecedented attempt to impose these command-and-control regulations.


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