Senate Vote Would Cancel EPA 'Endangerment' Rule; White House Threatens Veto

The Senate is set for a key test environmental vote this week and the White House is already threatening a veto.

On Thursday, the Senate will take up Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Ak.) EPA Resolution of Disapproval (S.J. Res. 26) under a consent agreement that was reached before the Memorial Day recess.  

The resolution would overturn the EPA back door attempt at enacting a national cap and trade energy tax through regulation.

The White House threatened a veto Tuesday then attempted to link the vote to the disaster in the Gulf.

“The administration and opponents of the disapproval resolution know they’re losing the argument about the costs of EPA climate regulations. They’ve trotted out one red herring after another, but trying to link this bipartisan measure to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill sets a new low,” Murkowski said.

“There is nothing in my resolution that negates fuel economy gains or makes our country more dependent on oil. Falsely linking this effort to the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico is an insult to those impacted by the spill and to the hundreds of stakeholders that are concerned about the economic consequences of EPA’s climate regulations,” Murkowski continued.  “Farmers, manufacturers, small business owners, and Americans from every corner of the country have weighed in to express their support for this resolution. To suggest they are somehow tools of the oil industry for speaking out against the EPA’s regulatory overreach is cynical and categorically untrue.”

“The EPA’s endangerment finding does nothing to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico, ensure that impacted victims receive timely compensation for damages or prevent future spills. To suggest otherwise is opportunistic and it cheapens the ongoing tragedy while deflecting attention from the government’s lackluster response,” Murkowski added.  “The only similarity I see between the oil spill and the EPA’s climate regulations is that both are unmitigated disasters. The difference, of course, is that it’s not too late for Congress to stop the EPA’s regulations.”     

The Senate resolution has bi-partisan support from 41 co-sponsors as well as from senators like Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) with a large state coal mining industry.

“I believe we must send a strong message that the fate of West Virginia’s economy, our manufacturing industries and our workers should not be solely in the hands of EPA," Rockefeller said.

First up on Thursday in the Senate: six hours of debate on a motion to proceed to the resolution.  Should the vote on that motion succeed by a simple majority of 51 votes, it will be followed by one hour of debate on the resolution.

Final passage in the Senate requires another simple majority of 51 votes.

The companion resolution has 140 co-sponsors in the House.