Earlier this week, Politico‘s Darren Samuelsohn reported on Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s admission that his effort to delay carbon dioxide regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency is really just a message vote. Even if it passes in the Senate, President Obama will veto it.
But now Rockefeller is clarifying that he really does mean it—he wants to block EPA action on climate change, and he wants do it this year. The bill, he said, is one of his “top priorities.” Here’s the statement he put out last night:
With the Senate heading into recess and a lame duck session on the horizon, one of the remaining items that this Congress must consider is my bill to suspend EPA regulation of greenhouse gases for two years. As I have said repeatedly, the Majority Leader has committed to allowing a vote on my bill this year and I believe we have more and more momentum to get it passed in the Senate.
Even in the face of the President’s veto threat, we must send a clear message that Congress–not an unelected regulatory agency–must set our national energy policy. Together we must make sure that in this very fragile economic recovery, our manufacturing and energy sectors are able to grow and generate jobs. We can address emissions and secure a future for the U.S. coal industry, but we need the time to get it right and to move clean coal technology forward.
This bill is one of my top priorities and it is needed as soon as possible to reduce the uncertainty facing so many American industries at a time when we need them to invest in our economy and create jobs. EPA is set to begin regulating on January 2, so we cannot let up on our fight to move this issue forward.