The Senate Republican resolution to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act has failed, mostly along party lines. South Dakota Republican John Thune argued that farming and ranching –energy-intensive industries – would suffer under such regulation. “Forty-five percent of a farmer or rancher’s costs are going to be increased by this back door energy tax imposed by the EPA.”
Fellow Republican Mike Johanns of Nebraska – a cosponsor of the Murkowski resolution – says the millions subjected to the regulations will suffer devastating costs… “They’re commercial buildings, they’re hospitals, they’re ethanol plants and you can keep naming business after business that will get caught up in this.” Johanns says consumers will pay much higher energy costs as a result.
Senate Democrat John Kerry argued that Congress created the law upon which the finding is based…and the Supreme Court has dictated the policy as a matter of health…“Not as a matter of some bureaucratic rule. We don’t have a rule in front of us right now Mr. President. We have a process by which the EPA is gonna go through – determine what they may or may not do.”
Kerry – who cosponsors the latest Senate climate change bill – pounced on comments made by Senator Thune, “Now I heard my colleague from South Dakota come to the floor and say ‘Well all we’re trying to do is delay this so Congress can act.’ This is going to be the great hypocrisy test resolution.”
Kerry says the test will be how many lawmakers voting to stop EPA will vote for climate change legislation. “How many of them are going to be on the front lines, trying in fact to make the things happen that have to happen in order to restrain greenhouse gases?”
Six Democrats, including Senate Ag Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln, voted for the resolution which failed 47 votes to 53.