The White House issued a threat today that President Obama will veto the GOP’s latest attempt to muzzle the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases.
But this is just the latest in a string of such attempts, and probably won’t be the last:
- This week the GOP-dominated House of Representatives may vote on H.R. 910, the floridly-titled “Energy Tax Prevention Act“, which would explicitly block the Environmental Protection act from cutting back on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to alleviate climate change.
- Last week the battle was in the Senate, where a number of amendments to a small business relief bill would have similarly blocked the EPA; those amendments have not been voted on, and may never be at this point (see: “EPA Vote: Senate Democrats about to screw things up on climate change again“). (SEE UPDATE, BELOW)
- It all may be academic – the $32 billion in cuts in the GOP’s current budget plan include slashing the EPA’s budget by nearly a third, gutting their ability to enforce regulations. This remains up in the air, even after Democrats agreed, since Republicans are now demanding even more cuts before they’ll vote for their own budget agreement (see: “Senate votes today on worst budget for the environment in 40 years“).
UPDATE: The Senate appears to be moving on some of these amendments:
- Max Baucus’ (D-MT) amendment, which would have exempted agriculture and smaller emitters, was defeated today 93-7. Voting with Baucus: Kay Hagan (D-NC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Begich (D-AK), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Carl Levin (D-MI)
“The administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 910, which would halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s common-sense steps under the Clean Air Act to protect Americans from harmful pollution,” the statement says. “H.R. 910 would also increase the nation’s dependence on oil and other fossil fuels as well as contradict the scientific consensus on climate change.”
The whole thing is a crazy game of global-warming whack-a-mole, and overall, the Democrats are losing.