Small EPA Victory in the Midst of Republican Attacks

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted down a months-long Republican push to undermine the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas emission regulatory powers and the agency’s programs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, power plants and oil refineries, the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

The Senate bill, sponsored by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and backed by most big-business lobbies, failed Wednesday in a 50-50 vote; short of the sixty votes required to overcome the possibility of a filibuster. Republican leaders are now pushing to attach similar anti-EPA measures to the current-year budget bill that is now being negotiated. If that fails, they will most likely try again on future spending bills. Fortunately this week President Obama threatened to veto any measure that could obstruct the EPA’s efforts to restrict emissions that scientists say are warming the atmosphere and prime catalysts driving the devastating effects of global climate change.