Rockefeller Seeking Delay on EPA Climate Regs

| Wed Feb. 24, 2010 11:29 AM EST

Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who recently joined the group of legislators expressing concern about pending climate regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, is planning to introduce a bill that would delay the introduction of rules restricting greenhouse gas emissions.

Rockefeller's move comes even after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made assurances that the new rules for polluters won't go into effect until next year.  "This is good progress but I am concerned it may not go far enough," Rockefeller said in a statement. "EPA actions in this area would have enormous implications on clean coal state economies and these issues need to be handled carefully and appropriately dealt with by the Congress, not in isolation by a federal environmental agency."

Rockefeller said he intends to draft legislation that "would provide Congress the space it needs to craft a workable policy that will protect jobs and stimulate the economy." His measure, he said, would "set in stone through legislation enough time for Congress to consider a comprehensive energy bill."

Rockefeller didn't indicate that he planned to sign on to an existing bill from Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would bar the EPA from moving forward on regulations altogether. But his latest move is a sign that opposition to EPA regulation of greenhouse gases is picking up steam on both sides of the aisle.