Sen. Rockefeller to Vote for Resolution of EPA Disapproval

From a statement from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV):

I have long maintained that the Congress – not the unelected EPA – must decide major economic and energy policy. EPA regulation will have an enormous impact on the economic security of West Virginia and our energy future.

I intend to vote for Senator Murkowski’s Resolution of Disapproval because I believe we must send a strong message that the fate of West Virginia’s economy, our manufacturing industries, and our workers should not be solely in the hands of EPA.

It is not clear whether this resolution will pass, and the White House issued a statement on Tuesday threatening a veto if it does pass. But my vote is squarely in favor of securing West Virginia’s future.

I introduced my own legislation to suspend EPA action for two years. My bill gives Congress the time it needs to address greenhouse gas emissions in way that will work for West Virginia and the nation. I still believe that is a sound approach and I will continue to press for action.

The White House’s opposition to S.J.Res. 26 was expressed in a Statement of Administration Policy. The SAP throws a bunch of claims at the wall hoping some stick:

S.J. Res. 26 also would undermine the Administration’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of pollution and the risks associated with environmental catastrophes, like the ongoing BP oil spill. As seen in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental disasters harm families, destroy jobs, and pollute the Nation’s air, land and water. Further, S.J. Res. 26 is contrary to the widely-accepted scientific consensus that GHGs are at increasingly dangerous concentrations and are contributing to the threat of climate change.

S.J.Res. 26 would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, a power play that would allow an Executive Branch agency to set energy and climate policy without the involvement of Congress. That’s what the resolution does.

We can see how the Administration would want to expand its Executive authority at the expense of the policymaking branch of government, Congress, but the “prevent environmental disasters” claim is unserious.

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