The Senate and House have cast important votes to determine the future of carbon emissions regulations in the U.S. Thankfully the news is good.
Advocates for strong action on climate change and the nearly 3/4 Americans who believe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should protect public health, are celebrating an important victory. Yesterday the Senate rejected multiple proposals to end the EPA climate authority. Now climate deniers and big polluters (including the Koch brothers) are mourning a significant defeat and blow to their dirty energy agenda.
Notably, four amendments to small business legislation, entirely for the purpose of limiting the EPA’s role in regulating carbon emissions, were defeated. Three were from Democrats, mainly Max Baucus (MT), Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Jay Rockefeller (WV), whose amendment to halt EPA use of the Clean Air Act for two years fell 88-12. The final blow (or fail) for polluter-friendly legislators came when Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) proposed an amendment to exempt power plants, refineries and other carbon polluters from oversight. His amendment was a precursor to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and House colleague Fred Upton’s (R-MI) bill to end the EPA’s power to protect public health and the environment from the effects of climate change, known as H.R. 910 the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011”. Needing 60 votes to pass and securing only 50 votes in support.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Congressmembers, are you too busy being indentured servants to corporations to find love?
Lobbyists, did that pickup line about healthcare flop with your beloved Senator? Well, have you heard the one about “clean coal” yet?
Polluters, are you too shy to admit the things you’d like to do to Rep. Joe Barton?
Well, you are all in luck. Today marks the launch of PolluterHarmony.com, a new online matchmaking service designed to help dirty polluters and their lobbyists find that perfect politician to live forever in holy mmm…
The Washington Post is reporting that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s amendment to gut EPA authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act was written by two Washington lobbyists known for representing some of the worst polluters in the nation.
Juliet Eilperin writes on the Post Carbon blog:
“The Washington Post has confirmed that two Washington lobbyists, Jeffrey R. Holmstead and Roger R. Martella, Jr., helped craft the original amendment Murkowski planned to offer on the floor last fall. Both Holmstead, who heads the Environmental Strategies Group and Bracewell & Guiliani, and Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, held senior posts at EPA under the Bush administration and represents multiple clients with an interest in climate legislation pending before Congress.”
The Post notes that Sen. Murkowski is now likely to postpone offering the amendment next week when Congress returns to tackle the subject of climate change anew.
“This Mukowski rider should be called the Protect Dirty Polluters amendment, especially since we now know that it was written by polluter lobbyists,” Kert Davies, Director of the new PolluterWatch project at Greenpeace, told me today.
“If this amendment passed, it would be a get out of jail free card for the worst polluters from Big Oil and Big Coal,” Davies said.