Vote on EPA's role in greenhouse gas regulation delayed
BY JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau
Thursday, March 17, 2011
3/19/11 at 9:58 AM
WASHINGTON -- A vote on a controversial proposal by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe to block a federal agency from regulating greenhouse gases was put off Thursday until after next week's recess.
"I am relieved,'' the Oklahoma Republican said, promising to use the next nine days effectively.
"Time is not their friend.''
Noting the expectation set by the Democratic leadership on the proposal, Inhofe said the vote was delayed because opponents were not sure of its outcome.
"If they knew they had the votes, they would have brought it up,'' he said.
Inhofe again expressed optimism about his proposal's chances to be attached to a small business bill but conceded it could fall short of the 60 votes needed for victory.
Expected to be approved by the House in the coming weeks, the proposal would block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases in response to climate change.
Both sides of the debate warn of dire consequences.
Inhofe and other opponents of such EPA action predict it would have do huge harm to the nation's economy.
EPA's defenders point out the agency is responding to a Supreme Court ruling and taking away its authority would hurt the public health.
Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced Inhofe's proposal as an amendment to the small business bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., laid out a schedule Thursday indicating that legislation was being set aside with votes set other matters.
"We're working on amendments,'' Reid spokesman Jon Summers said.
"We'll vote on more of them, as well as final passage, after recess.''