Max Baucus assured constituents in Great Falls, Montana, that the EPA should not attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on its own, but should wait for Congress to act instead. He also stressed to the members of the energy cooperative in town that any such regulation should exempt them from compliance, because … er … he needs their votes, or something. In any case, Baucus doesn’t sound so exercised by the arrogation of power from the EPA that he intends to do much about it if it happens, because he’ll be busy working on the tax legislation that Democrats have put off for almost two years:

The [D]emocratic Senator addressed members of the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association, or MECA, during an annual meeting. …

Baucus noted, “I mentioned that I do not want the EPA writing those regulations. I think it’s too much power in the hands of one single agency, but rather climate change should be a matter that’s essentially left to the Congress.”

Senator Baucus says while capping EPA’s control over greenhouse gas standards is critical, he says he may be more focused on tax legislation next year.

Baucus also chairs the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional panel that has punted on taxation since January 2009. He should have been focused on tax legislation this year, since all of the income and investment tax rates escalate on January 1, 2011.  He’s also a member of the Environment and Public Works committee chaired by Barbara Boxer, which has shown almost no interest at all in reining in the EPA and its attempted end-run around Congress with its finding that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.  Since Baucus has managed to do nothing for most of this year, perhaps he can get his well-rested self in position to handle both situations at the same time now.