The series of votes this afternoon on four different anti-climate amendments uncovered 17 Democrats who are willing to support the polluter agenda of the 47 science-denying zombies of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate. They voted today to hobble the EPA’s limited action to set standards for carbon pollution from the largest industrial sources, such as giant coal-fired power plants and oil refineries that already emit other pollution covered by the Clean Air Act. Here are the four amendments, none of which were adopted:
McConnell Amendment: Four pollution-fueled Democrats embraced the “Energy Tax Prevention Act” — the extremist legislation introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to literally deny the science of global warming. The Democrats who voted for the McConnell amendment, which failed by a 50-50 vote, were Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Ben Nelson (NE), and Mark Pryor (AR). In the 2010 cycle, Koch Industries contributed $39,500 to Landrieu, $36,500 to Nelson, and $30,000 to Pryor. Manchin’s 2010 election was fueled by over $500,000 from coal and oil interests.
Rockefeller Amendment: Nine Democrats voted for Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) amendment for a two-year moratorium on climate rules, which failed by a 12-88 vote: Sen. Kent Conrad (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Landrieu, Manchin, Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Nelson, Pryor, Rockefeller, and Jim Webb (VA).
Stabenow-Brown Amendment: Seven Democrats voted for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) amendment to suspend, for 2 years, any Environmental Protection Agency enforcement of greenhouse gas regulations, to exempt American agriculture from greenhouse gas regulations, and to increase the number of companies eligible to participate in the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, which failed 7-93: Brown, Robert Casey (PA), Conrad, Amy Klobuchar (MN), Johnson, Pryor, and Stabenow.
Baucus Amendment: Seven Democrats voted for Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-MT) amendment to prohibit the regulation of greenhouse gases from certain sources, which also failed 7-93: Baucus, Mark Begich (AK), Kay Hagan (NC), Carl Levin (MI), Klobuchar, Conrad, and Johnson.
To review, the dirty seventeen are Baucus (MT), Begich (AK), Brown (OH), Casey (PA), Conrad (ND), Hagan (NC), Johnson (SD), Klobuchar (MN), Landrieu (LA), Levin (MI), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), Rockefeller (WV), Stabenow (MI), and Webb (VA).
Only Sen. Susan Collins (ME) broke the Republican ranks to vote against the McConnell amendment, voting instead for Rockefeller’s two-year delay bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Scott Brown (R-MA) voted for both the Rockefeller and McConnell amendments.
If all 64 Senators were to vote for legislation to hobble climate action in the future, a filibuster would fall, and only a veto from President Obama could protect the Clean Air Act from the Koch and coal power grab.
NRDC responds to the Senate votes:
The Senate today turned back a wave of assaults on clean air and health, but as the continued overreach in the House shows, this fight is far from over. Those senators who supported any of the amendments before the Senate today chose to side with big polluters instead of the public — and we will let the American people know where they stand. In the meantime, we expect Senate leadership and President Obama to continue standing firm in opposing these misguided efforts to dismantle the EPA’s ability to limit carbon dioxide pollution.
,Almost exactly two years ago, the Senate held a series of votes that demonstrated the polluter interests had enough allies to filibuster any clean economy legislation from the Democrat-controlled House.
Now, they have demonstrated that they have the votes to break a filibuster of anti-climate legislation coming from the Republican-controlled House.
,Only nine of the 36 Senators who voted against the anti-climate amendments are running for re-election, but nine of the 17 dirty Democrats are: Sherrod Brown, Casey, Klobuchar, Manchin, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, and Stabenow. New England Republicans Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe are also running for re-election.