The Senate passed two resolutions under the Congressional ReviewAct Tuesday night repealing the key plankÂ of theEnvironmental Protection Agencyâ€™s global warmingregulatory agenda.
Senators also happened to pass CRA resolutions against theEPAâ€™s Clean Power Plan on Oklahoma RepublicanSen. Jim Inhofe â€™s 81st birthday. Inhofe hasbeen a lead Republican against the EPAâ€™s climateregulations and even wrote a book calling global warming theâ€œgreatest hoax.â€
â€œIt brings me great joy for the Senate tocome together in a majority, bipartisan vote to disapprove of thiseconomically disastrous carbon mandate from theadministration,â€ Inhofe said in a statement on the CRAvotes.
President Barack Obama is almost certain to veto the legislationto repeal key parts of his Climate Action Plan, but senators hopethese symbolic votes will show the president the majority of Americans oppose hisregulations which could raise energy prices.
â€œThis vote sends a clear signal to theinternational community that the American people will not stand insupport for an agreement that would result in double-digitelectricity prices in 40 states, put hundreds of thousands ofpeople out of work, and have no meaningful impact on globalwarming,â€ Inhofe said. â€œIn thiscountry, it is Congress who writes the laws, notEPA.â€
CRA bills were introduced by a bipartisan group of senators,including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky andDemocratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Both bills passed ina 52 to 46 vote — a CRA bill only needs 51 votes to pass andallows Congress to block major regulations from taking affect.
Environmentalists and most Democrats came out againstTuesdayâ€™s CRA votes. Activists said the CRAbills were pointless because Obama would veto them and theinternational community is already set to agree to a global climatetreaty next month.
â€œThe GOP leadership has no plan to addressdangerous carbon pollution and is hell-bent on blocking anyprogress on the central environmental challenge of ourtime,â€ David Doniger, director of the climate and cleanair program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in astatement.
â€œWith the international community poised totake unprecedented steps to combat climate change,itâ€™s time for climate deniers to stop trying toblock responsible leaders from protecting our health, our planetand the future of all our children,â€ Doniger said.
World leaders are set to meet in Paris this month for a UnitedNations climate summit thatâ€™s expected to yielda successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. The White House andenvironmentalist allies are pushing hard for some sort of agreementto cut global carbon dioxide emissions.
Much of the hope surrounding the Paris talks hinges on the factthat China and the U.S. have pledged to address global warming.China, however, has not pledged to make any actual cuts toemissions until after 2030. The U.S., on the other hand, haspromised to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Politicians and environmentalists are still optimistic about atreaty despite news that all the individualcountriesâ€™ commitments taken together will haveno measurable impact on global warming, according to climatemodelers.
But thatâ€™s just the tip of the iceberg ofproblems plaguing any climate treaty. American opposition couldalso derail any meaningful U.N. agreement. Inhofe noted thatâ€œ27 states, 24 national trade associations, 37rural electric cooperatives, 10 major companies and 3 labor unionsrepresenting 878,000 members are now challenging the final rule incourt.â€
â€œThis rule faces a dead end road with theseentities requesting a judicial stay that will put the rule on holdearly next year,â€ Inhofe said.â€œThere will be no possibility of legislativeresurrection once the courts render the final judgments on thepresidentâ€™s carbon mandates.â€