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Democrat slow learners wake up to EPA power grab

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 23, 2010 11:48 AM

A few weeks ago, I noted that a trio of House Democrats proposed legislation to curtail the EPA’s war on carbon.

Now, Senate Democrats are jumping on the bandwagon. Amazing what an election year, double-digit unemployment, and the Climategate-induced collapse of the global warming cult can do to turn the eco-hysteria tide:

Eight Democratic senators from industrial states are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate pollution blamed for global warming.

In a letter written by Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the lawmakers said the agency lacks the power to restrict greenhouse gases from stationary sources such as power plants, factories and mines. The lawmakers said Congress – not the EPA – should address an issue with big implications for thousands of U.S. jobs and businesses.

…Opposition to EPA regulations by Democrats could pose a serious blow to the Obama administration’s effort to restrict heat-trapping greenhouse gases. While the administration is still pushing for Congress to pass a comprehensive climate bill this year, officials have not ruled out controlling greenhouse gases through regulation.

The letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was signed by Democrats Mark Begich of Alaska, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Carl Levin of Michigan and Max Baucus of Montana.

The Democrats said they did not object to EPA regulation of emissions from cars and light trucks, but questioned the agency’s ability to do anything further under the Clean Air Act. The letter asked Jackson to clarify the EPA’s timetable and suspend any regulations for coal-fired utilities and other industrial facilities until Congress acts on climate and energy legislation.

Better late than never, I guess.

Related: Watch out for this – Senate compromise climate bill proposal expected this week

A last-ditch attempt to kick-start stalled US climate legislation is expected to get underway this week with the long-awaited release of a compromise version of the controversial climate change bill that is currently facing stiff opposition in the Senate.

A bipartisan group of senators – Democrat John Kerry, independent Joe Lieberman and Republican Lindsey Graham – have been working for the past few months on a new draft of the legislation designed to secure support from moderate Republicans and Democrats from coal-rich states concerned about the impact the bill’s proposed emission cap-and-trade scheme will have on the economy.

According to Reuters reports, the senators are poised to present a range of compromise proposals this week. “We will present senators with a number of options when they get back from recess,” one Senate aide told the news agency.

Related: Exclusive Hot Air interview: Inhofe to release report blasting IPCC on Climategate.

Posted in: Enviro-nitwits

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