Today, the U.S. Senate will debate and vote on how much to cripple the EPA’s efforts to protect civilization from global warming. Brad Johnson has the story of the pollution lobby pushing hard to gut the Clean Air Act.The Republicans have attached the Upton-Inhofe bill to deny the existence of global warming pollution as a Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) amendment (S. Amdt. 183) to Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) unrelated small-business bill. A Democratic amendment from Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) would exempt the greenhouse pollution of industrial agriculture and other polluters (S. Amdt. 236). An amendment from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) would prevent the EPA from enforcing rules for two more years (S. Amdt. 215). NRDC’s David Hawkins covers the Clean Air Act phobia well:
It’s a sad state of affairs when members on both sides of the aisle in Congress seem to think it is a good idea to attack the Clean Air Act — the landmark law that Richard Nixon signed and George H. W. Bush strengthened. Yet the hits on the Clean Air Act just keep on coming in this Congress in spite of the Act’s incredible record of cutting deaths and illness caused by air pollution — a record that has earned the strong support of the American people and the admiration of others around the world.
No amendments to force the EPA to take stronger action have been submitted. Rockefeller’s toxic amendment is cosponsored by Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Kent Conrad (D-ND). McConnell’s climate denial amendment is cosponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
The usual suspects are out en masse pounding the drums to demonize the EPA and at least implicitly deny the existence of global warming:
– The Koch brothers’ Americans For Prosperity attacks “higher energy costs and lost jobs that would result from the EPA distorting the Clean Air Act.”
– Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal: “the EPA plan will appreciably lower the U.S. standard of living.”
– The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is running radio ads in Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and other states that dis the Clean Air Act as a “40-year-old law.”
– the Competitive Enterprise Institute: “EPA regulations actually impose costs far in excess of benefits.”
– the National Association of Manufacturers is running radio and television ads in Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania that attack “costly new regulations.”
The target senators are McCaskill, Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
— Brad Johnson in a WonkRoom cross-post.