W. Va. senator seeks vote to stop EPA carbon rules
New EPA regulations that would require big factories to start cutting pollution blamed for global warming are due to kick in soon.
Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 05:31 PM
IT'S ABOUT POLICY: Sen. Rockefeller argues that Congress, not the EPA, should be setting energy policy and that lawmakers need more time to write an effective climate bill that does not place undue burdens on the coal industry. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia on Thursday said he would seek a vote before the end of the current congressional session on his bill to postpone Environmental Protection Agency regulation of smokestack carbon dioxide emissions for two years.
With EPA regulations due to kick in soon that would require big factories to start cutting pollution blamed for global warming, Rockefeller said: "I want to make it clear that I intend to get a vote this year on my EPA-suspension legislation."
The economy of West Virginia, Rockefeller's home state, is heavily reliant on coal, which emits high levels of carbon dioxide when burned to fuel electric utilities and factories.
Industry has complained that the EPA regulations would be costly to implement and would raise consumer energy prices.
In January, the EPA is scheduled to give the green light to regulations, long under development, requiring utilities, factories and other big polluters to get permits for the carbon dioxide they emit.
EPA also would require plants to use the best available technology when expanding or building new facilities.
EPA's moves toward regulating carbon come after Congress failed this year to pass comprehensive legislation controlling greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change problems.
Earlier this year, Sen. Lisa Murkowski proposed a permanent ban on EPA regulation of carbon, a move that failed on a 53-47 vote.
Rockefeller argues that Congress, not the EPA, should be setting energy policy and that lawmakers need more time to write an effective climate bill that does not place undue burdens on the coal industry.
Under his bill, the EPA would be allowed to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Jackie Frank and Stacey Joyce)
Copyright 2010 Reuters Environmental Online Report