Yesterday, 221 members of Congress released a letter to the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, asking him to allow the coal industry to emit greenhouse pollution without any limits. Claiming the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on greenhouse gas pollution from new and modified coal-fired power plants needs to be killed because of the “devastating impact it will have on jobs and the nation’s economy” were 207 Republicans and 14 Democrats:
We respectfully ask that you stop EPA’s GHG rulemaking because of the devastating impact it will have on jobs and the economy.
The letter was spearheaded by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairman of the subcommittee on energy and power, and Rep. John Barrow (D-GA). The OMB is now weeks past the February 3 deadline to approve the EPA rules. This letter is similar to one sent on February 2 to OMB director Jeffrey Zients from Whitfield, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).
The chart below lists the fourteen Democrats who oppose climate protections:
|Fourteen Coal-Above-Climate Democrats|
|Jason Altmire (D-PA)||John Barrow (D-GA)|
|Sanford Bishop (D-GA)||Dan Boren (D-OK)|
|Ben Chandler(D-KY)||Jerry Costello (D-IL)|
|Mark Critz (D-PA)||Tim Holden (D-PA)|
|Larry Kissell (D-NC)||Jim Matheson (D-UT)|
|Mike McIntyre (D-NC)||Collin Peterson (D-MN)|
|Nick Rahall (D-WV)||Mike Ross (D-AR)|
Of these 14:
—Ten are members of the conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition. The energy sector has been a huge financial backer of the Blue Dog political action committee — the coalition’s shared fundraising apparatus.
—Seven of those ten are part of the Blue Dog Energy Task Force. That nine-member group claims works to “promote responsible, diverse domestic energy production, increased energy efficiency, greater use of natural gas, renewable energy, electric transmission, and research and development on advanced energy technologies.”
—Except for Kissell, all of them voted last year to block climate action last year. Thirteen voted last year for HR 910, which would have permanently eliminated the EPA’s power to limit greenhouse pollution by legislatively denying the scientific threat of global warming.
Of the 34 Republicans who did not sign the letter, all but three — Rep. John Boehner, Bob Turner, and Rodney Frelinghuysen — voted for HR 910. Boehner publicly dismisses climate science. As Speaker of the House, he does not typically vote on legislation. Turner, who took Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) seat, was not in Congress when the HR 910 vote took place, but is a global warming denier. Frelinghuysen voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act in 2009, and did not cast a vote on HR 910.
This letter, once again, shows the House is dominated by climate zombies more concerned about polluter welfare than about the immediate threat of global climate change.