U.S. Senate defeats amendments to limit EPA powers

The Senate has rejected a Republican amendment that would have blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Reuters reports:

Republicans, who were able to block a climate and energy bill last year, hoped to pick up support from Democrats in energy-dependent states facing tight elections next year on the measure sponsored by Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
But it got only 50 votes in the Democratic-led 100-member chamber, short of the 60 votes needed to pass.

The Senate also rejected three EPA-limiting amendments offered by Democrats, the Washington Post reports.

One, sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), would have provided exemptions for agriculture and smaller greenhouse gas emitters from the EPA’s permitting process; another, sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), would delay EPA rules for two years; and a third, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would have delayed the rules for two years, exempted agriculture and provided a tax credit to clean energy technology manufacturers.

Sen. Stabenow voted in favor of her own amendment and Carl Levin (D-MI) voted in favor of the Baucus amendment.

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Director Anne Woiwode called the defeat of the four bills a “short-term victory for Americans who want clean air and safe drinking water” and called on Michigan’s senators to explain their support for measures that would benefit polluters.

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