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Coal-state Dems hit EPA on climate

By Juliet Eilperin

Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and several other coal-state Democrats sent a bluntly worded letter to Environment Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson Friday night challenging the agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants and other industrial sources.

The Rockefeller letter--which was also signed by Democratic senators Mark Begich (Alaska), Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Pat Casey (Pa.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Carl Levin (Mich.), and Max Baucus (Mont.)--poses a serious challenge for the Obama administration. While the administration is still pushing for Congress to pass a climate bill this year, it has not ruled out controlling greenhouse gases through regulation.

In their letter, the Democratic senators do not object to the EPA regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-trucks, but they do question the agency's power to do anything else under the Clean Air Act. The letter asks Jackson clarify the EPA's timetable and suspend any regulations for coal-fired utilities and other industrial facilities until Congress acts on climate and energy legislation.

"We remain concerned about the possible impacts on American workers and businesses in a number of industrial sectors, along with the farmers, miners, and small business owners who could be affected as your agency moves beyond automobile emissions standards to implement regulations to curtail GHG pollution from stationary sources," reads the letter. "The President and you have been explicit in calling on Congress to pass comprehensive legislation that would enhance our nation's energy and climate security. We strongly believe this is ultimately Congress' responsibility, and if done properly, will create jobs, spur new clean energy industries, and greatly advance the goal of U.S. energy independence. If done improperly, these opportunities could be lost."

Rockefeller announced Friday he is drafting legislation that would block the EPA from moving ahead, but he'll have to wait in line--Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has already introduced a resolution that would do just that. Murkowski and the U..S. Chamber of Commerce will be discussing that initiative in a conference call scheduled for Thursday.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  February 19, 2010; 10:45 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Planetary tilt and solar radiation have nothing to do with the melting Martian ice caps.

The problem is that the Martians all are driving around in SUVs, mostly Hummers.

Posted by: snorbertzangox | February 22, 2010 7:33 PM
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rainsong: You need to read the second page of the National Geo article. Headlines do not always reflect the content of an article.

"The conventional theory is that climate changes on Mars can be explained primarily by small alterations in the planet's orbit and tilt, not by changes in the sun."

As to taxes, an CO2 tax would lower the income tax rates while pushing conservation and new energy sources. I'm not saying there won't be any economic downside, but the downside of climate change will be quite real.

Posted by: mike_midwest | February 21, 2010 4:54 PM
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National Geographic published an article about the polar ice caps of Mars shrinking at the same time Earth polar regions shrank. This warming may be caused by solar activity instead of fossil fuels:

I cannot afford a carbon tax in addition to all the other taxes the government is dreaming of collecting.

Posted by: rainsong | February 20, 2010 1:50 PM
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you no-good -astards waited too long. you can't be trusted . i sure hope west virginia has learned their lesson. dems are toast.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | February 20, 2010 7:41 AM
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if you want to see repubs control both houses, then keep talking about copenhagen and global warming....guess you beltway gayblades will be happy then

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | February 20, 2010 7:18 AM
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Someone check their pocket books, campaign or otherwise, for Big Coal payoffs. And the money machine rolls on till we're all dead.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 20, 2010 3:14 AM
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Looks like a bunch of Democrats have been mugged by reality and will be neo-cons in the near future.

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | February 20, 2010 12:29 AM
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