Senate Dem to propose two-year block on climate-change regs

posted at 11:36 am on December 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Have I woken up in a parallel universe?  More Democrats than Republicans vote to endorse the Bush tax rates as I was falling asleep.  Now in the Senate, Politico reports that a key Democrat will attempt to defy Harry Reid and stop the Obama administration from imposing climate-change regulation at the EPAbefore Republicans in the House get to take charge.

Pardon me for a moment … I have to check to see whether I’ve grown a goatee overnight:

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is pressing forward on his drive to vote this month on his plan to delay Obama administration climate regulations for two years, threatening to go directly to the Senate floor and force a vote to include it in a catch-all spending bill.

Rockefeller has told Senate leadership “that he will insist on a vote” on his measure to block the Environmental Protection Agency global warming rules set to take effect next month.

“If left with no other option, Senator Rockefeller will seek to suspend the rules on the Omnibus Appropriations bill to bring up his legislation,” his office said in a statement. Such a maneuver would require 67 votes, which he is unlikely to get.

Originally, Rockefeller wanted this as an amendment to the OmniPorkulus bill, but that died last night as well.  He’ll have to either attach it to the continuing resolution, or else aim at either DADT or the START treaty for his amendment.  Republicans certainly won’t have any trouble at all supporting Rockefeller’s efforts, but Reid will be stuck between his promise to the West Virginia Senator and a White House that will not react well to such a moratorium.  If Reid reneges, he may find himself defending his position as Majority Leader, a position coveted by Chuck Schumer, who won’t be likely to rush to his defense.

Rockefeller may want to aim a little more broadly than the EPA, however.  As the Boss Emeritus reports, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has arrived in Arizona to address the murder of a Border Patrol agent, but her priorities are elsewhere.  The new priority for Homeland Security — “environmental justice“:

Five Cabinet secretaries and senior officials from a wide range of federal agencies and offices participated in the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice today, illustrating the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring all Americans have strong federal protection from environmental and health hazards.

More than 100 environmental justice leaders from across the country attended the day-long event, which featured White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Remember when Congress insisted on creating DHS in order to focus on national security from a domestic vantage point?  How they demanded that all agencies that work on controlling borders and transit points be centralized for greater efficiency?  Either we’re seeing a first-class case of mission creep here, or everyone in Washington has grown a goatee.  At the very least, we’ve taken an Orwellian turn in the definition of “homeland security,” and in an age of terrorism, that’s a dangerous turn indeed.


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Obama’s gang Orwellian? Shirley, you jest!

Skandia Recluse on December 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

The catch all spending bill is the Omnibus spending bill is it not? And that was pulled by Reid last night, so Rockefeller has no bill to attach his amendment too.

Dasher on December 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM

“environmental justice”? I don’t even know what that term means but it smells like socialism.

juliesa on December 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM

White House Forum on Environmental Justice

That word makes me want to burn some tires.

strictnein on December 17, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is pressing forward on his drive to vote this month on his plan to delay Obama administration climate regulations for two years, threatening to go directly to the Senate floor and force a vote to include it in a catch-all spending bill.

See, my problem is that I trust John Rockefeller about as much as I trust George Soros.

Maybe someone should press Rocky here to explain his sudden change of heart.

pilamaye on December 17, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Environmental Justice=Spread the Wealth

Jocundus on December 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Obama’s gang Orwellian? Shirley, you jest!

Skandia Recluse on December 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

he’s not jesting…..and don’t call him Shirley… :)

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

DHS needs to be asking DoD to do in Mexico what they’re doing in Colombia. Thousands of ranches and some towns are being invaded and taken over within a gunshot of homes in Texas and we’re worrying about “environmental justice?

juliesa on December 17, 2010 at 11:45 AM

The GOP can cut a deal with Rockefeller, create a standalone bill that does exactly what he wants and have an up and down vote on that matter alone. Reid said yesterday that the he does not want the legislative branch to ceed power to the executive branch.

And stop amending bills with unrelated laws/rules.

WashJeff on December 17, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Good, and let’s freeze idiotic CAFE standards as well. Next year Republicans need to take a hard look at the EPA’s budget. An organization that is as eager for new responsibilities as the EPA, is obviously overstaffed.

All government departments should have headcount cut 10% for starters, with the exception of the military.

slickwillie2001 on December 17, 2010 at 11:45 AM

I miss Leslie Nielsen. And Terran Empire Spock, too.

Ed Morrissey on December 17, 2010 at 11:46 AM

This is what happens when Republicans create new federal agencies. They are taken over by the left and the conservatives whine about lefties without acknowledging that Repubs created the damn thing in the first place. EPA anyone? Now its DHS.

flawedskull on December 17, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Environmental Justice is keeping the thermostat in the White House at 80 while telling us we can’t have ours at 72.

chemman on December 17, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Environmental Justice: just another leftard term that is extraordinarily non-descriptive, yet connotates such an altruistic and righteous imperative that it can be bent to mean just about anything that the DHS/WH wants it to mean.

I mean, who on earth could be against justice….especially environmental justice?

This is so stupid that it implies that the environment can have the attribute of unrighteousness and unjustice applied to it.

how’s my goatee look from this angle???/

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Environmental Justice is keeping the thermostat in the White House at 80 while telling us we can’t have ours at 72.

chemman on December 17, 2010 at 11:47 AM

and we have a winner….

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Machin will become a temporary republican to stop heavy-handed EPA in his state as well. I don’t trust Rockefeller is most respects either, but he is deadly serious about this. New progressive EPA regs would finish off W.Va.

mwbri on December 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM

“environmental justice”? I don’t even know what that term means but it smells like socialism.

juliesa on December 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It’s the notion that environmental hazards such as toxic waste and air-polluting factories tend to be located in or near “minority communities.” One more grievance from the professional grievance mongers, and justification for pouring more federal dollars down the ratholes (and of course, Democrat strongholds) of the nation’s big cities. Van Jones pretty much got himself on the map as an activist against “environmental racism.”

What the hell this has to do with Homeland Security, I have no idea. But I’m sure Sen. Inhofe will ask Ms. Napolitano the next time she testifies. :-)

rockmom on December 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I believe it is called the old ‘protect the socialized medicine bill, and hold off on our other goals until the next time we have a majority’ ploy.

Vashta.Nerada on December 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I’m guessing “Protect the Environment” is the new “For The CHILDREN?”

I’m also thinking that Rockefeller’s two year delay is more likely a stalling tactic, to prevent the Republican Congress from gutting efforts even further than this. That way, they can come back two years from now and push this harder.

JamesLee on December 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM

White House Forum on Environmental Justice

Anytime leftists use “justice”, it’s a euphemism for socialism, or worse … communism.

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Like childhood obesity, ‘environmental justice’ is a national security issue.

petefrt on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Look! Up in the sky! Is that a pig flying?!

ornery_independent on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Sen. Rockefeller is just worried about his own re-election coming up. He is a die hard socialist, but he is a socialist elected from a coal producing state that this regulation is aimed at destroying. He has no real choice unless he wants to go back to NY and try to get elected from there.

Stephen L. Hall on December 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM

They will stick this on DADT. It’s a CYA vote for switching to yes on repeal. The Rs will get a conservative checkmark to cover their minus for DADT.

The House will scream bloody murder but will pass it easily for DADT.

Rocks on December 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Read Victor Davis Hanson’s essay on Two Californias and tell me about the environmental justice that Democrats have in mind.

Socratease on December 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Anytime leftists use “justice”, it’s a euphemism for socialism, or worse … communism.

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Masters of semantic deceit.

petefrt on December 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Environmental Justice today, illustrating the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring all Americans have strong federal protection from environmental and health hazards.

What the heck does that mean? Did the loco weed and cactus kill that border agent?

How many more people have to die down on the border before these idiots wake up?

rant off

Knucklehead on December 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Well, since NASA’s main mission under the Obama Administration apparently is “Muslim outreach”, why shouldn’t DHS’s prime mission be “environmental justice”?

(As for Rockefeller, while the he may want to shut down freedom of speech when it comes to Fox News, he’s not stupid enough to want to kill off West Virginia’s coal industry — and he’ll probably have no problem going on Fox to make that point clear.)

jon1979 on December 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Lord Rockefeller has realized that his constituents serfs mine a lot of coal and they have not only woken up to this fraud, but that his ruling class arse will be thrown on the ash heap if he doesn’t wise up.

RadClown on December 17, 2010 at 11:55 AM

“environmental justice”? I don’t even know what that term means but it smells like socialism.

juliesa on December 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It means whatever they say it means. If you oppose them it makes you unjust.

zmdavid on December 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

More than 100 environmental justice leaders from across the country attended the day-long event,

Environmental justice leader?

Where do you apply for that job?

edgehead on December 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

So, fat kids and barren soil are the new national threats.

Well, I’ll be jiggered.

madmonkphotog on December 17, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Read Victor Davis Hanson’s essay on Two Californias and tell me about the environmental justice that Democrats have in mind.

Socratease on December 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM

it appears that it means that farmers/growers can’t use their land so they won’t make any money to grow food for people whom they want to die anyway.

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 11:58 AM

So let me get this straight. The Obama Administration sues Arizona for trying to help DHS do its main job–enforce immigration laws. Now, DHS has decided that it is doing that job so well that it should expand its views and do the job of the EPA?

Conservative in NOVA on December 17, 2010 at 11:58 AM

We’re going to need a bigger broom.

Kissmygrits on December 17, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Gee, what happens in two years? It must be something really important to postpone the cure for Gaia’s fever.

mossberg500 on December 17, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Now, DHS has decided that it is doing that job so well that it should expand its views and do the job of the EPA?

Conservative in NOVA on December 17, 2010 at 11:58 AM

and the job of the EPA and Bureau of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management is to see to it that no free American uses his/her property to do what he/she wishes with it.

truth.

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 12:00 PM

He must be feeling some coal fired heat from WVa, and he ‘appears’ to be helping the folks back home.

Kissmygrits on December 17, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Gee, what happens in two years? It must be something really important to postpone the cure for Gaia’s fever.

mossberg500 on December 17, 2010 at 12:00 PM

the patient is not going to be happy. I predict that within the next six months there will be an a) earthquake b)tsunami c)landslide d)wildfire e)all of the above that can be conveniently described as the effect of this unfortunate legislative move./

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 12:02 PM

“For decades, our nation’s environmental problems and threats have been heaped disproportionately on America’s most vulnerable communities. This is unacceptable, and it is unconscionable. But through the aggressive enforcement of federal environmental laws in every community, I believe we can and must change the status quo and ensure environmental justice for all Americans,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.

That is some scary stuff, beside the fact he’s just making it up. Pollution attacks “America’s most vulnerable communities”?

These people must be called what they are and stood up to.

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 12:03 PM

It means whatever they say it means. If you oppose them it makes you unjust.

zmdavid on December 17, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Hijacking the English language (and Western values).

petefrt on December 17, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Jay knows that if the EPA rules go through against coal the way they have steel then all of West Virginia is going to look like that Youngstown, Ohio, story.

Branch Rickey on December 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM

More than 100 environmental justice Marxist leaders from across the country attended the day-long event

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM

White House Forum on Environmental Justice

That word makes me want to burn some tires.

strictnein on December 17, 2010 at 11:42 AM

It’s misspelled in the reference:

…should be “White House Forum on Environment: Just Us”

Better now?

landlines on December 17, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Anytime leftists use “justice”, it’s a euphemism for socialism, or worse … communism.

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

DINGDINGDINGDING!!!! We have a winner!

CantCureStupid on December 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM

They can’t control the environment anymore that I can control the freaking wind.

I wish these LAW MAKERS would stop trying to rule the world.

upinak on December 17, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Jay knows that if the EPA rules go through against coal the way they have steel then all of West Virginia is going to look like that Youngstown, Ohio, story.

Branch Rickey on December 17, 2010 at 12:04 PM

But it isn’t just WV. KY, ND, SD, and AK are also going to have serious issues due to no more coal manufacturing. You stop these States from getting the coal, you stop electricity from running….. and people are going to FREAK OUT when they see their bills for heat or AC.

Natural Gas is the next big “coal shut down”. And after that it will be oil, as I go buy a freaking wood burning stove and cut down trees to stay warm.

upinak on December 17, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Either we’re seeing a first-class case of mission creep here, or everyone in Washington has grown a goatee.

Someone please, please, photoshop Janet Napolitano with a goatee.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Natural Gas is the next big “coal shut down”. And after that it will be oil, as I go buy a freaking wood burning stove and cut down trees to stay warm.

upinak on December 17, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Sorry, trees will be protected.

Speaking of wood stoves, that’s my next buy. Things have the potential to get very bad. I can deal with heat, but no heat?

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM

the patient is not going to be happy. I predict that within the next six months there will be an a) earthquake b)tsunami c)landslide d)wildfire e)all of the above that can be conveniently described as the effect of this unfortunate legislative move./

ted c on December 17, 2010 at 12:02 PM

You sir, are a modern day Edgar Cayce.

mossberg500 on December 17, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Sorry, trees will be protected.

Speaking of wood stoves, that’s my next buy. Things have the potential to get very bad. I can deal with heat, but no heat?

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 12:16 PM

This is going to sound weird, but the stoves to buy are in freaking England and I am looking for a dealer here in the states to hopefully ship on up. I have been researching them and the ones with the longest lasting life (as fires DO break down a stove eventually) due to the compounds and the metal mix when it is poured. Look for galvanized as they can take the heat better. Also, don’t get anything fancy but make sure it has a flat top to put a pot of water on it… as a fire will dry out your house and make it the prefect tinder box. The pot of water keeps moisture in the air.

upinak on December 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM

White House Forum on Environmental Justice

That word makes me want to burn some tires.

strictnein on December 17, 2010 at 11:42 AM

No problem, go ahead and burn them. The air doesn’t matter. This is about justice. You’ll just have to give your money and your stuff to ACORN in exchange for your tire burning permit.

forest on December 17, 2010 at 12:22 PM

environmental hazards such as toxic waste and air-polluting factories tend to be located in or near “minority communities.”

rockmom on December 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Gosh these people are stupid. Land near hazards is cheap. Poor people live on cheap land. Minority communities are often poor. Ergo, minority communities are often near hazards. Help people lift themselves out of poverty instead of becoming dependent on it and you have an all-around winner.

alwaysfiredup on December 17, 2010 at 12:22 PM

environmental justice

A Poly Sci retard thinking they can protect a darker skinned American from the evils of the very air that Poly Sci retard exhales.

And, as an added bonus, that same Poly Sci retard employed by government, will also work to protect those same residents from the evils of dihydrogen monoxide.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/08/cop16-attendees-fall-for-the-old-dihydrogen-monoxide-petition-as-well-as-signing-up-to-cripple-the-u-s-economy/

MNHawk on December 17, 2010 at 12:23 PM

zero out the EPA budget, we’re broke and cannot afford these idiotic pinheads

maineconservative on December 17, 2010 at 12:28 PM

upinak on December 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Thanks

darwin on December 17, 2010 at 12:31 PM

100 environmental justice leaders

What a load of horse shit! These people screw up everything they touch.

GarandFan on December 17, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Rockefeller hates the coal companies but loves his voters.

kens on December 17, 2010 at 12:35 PM

It is obvious that Democrats have a black president.
-Olby, Chrissie Matthews

angryed on December 17, 2010 at 12:48 PM

errr hate a black prez

angryed on December 17, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Someone please, please, photoshop Janet Napolitano with a goatee.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I believe that all that would be necessary is to find a prephotoshoped picture Janet Napolitano

Slowburn on December 17, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Now, they’re just makin’ stuff up.

Fallon on December 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Well, NASA’s new mission is too work towards increasing Muslim self-esteem, so using Washington logic, DHS working on environmental justice makes perfect sense.

catmman on December 17, 2010 at 12:59 PM

He’ll have to either attach it to the continuing resolution, or else aim at either DADT or the START treaty for his amendment.

Considering how many Dem Senators are warmists, this could kill either bill. Especially with one Dem Senator out…

18-1 on December 17, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Historically it take severe economic conditions to refocus folks are the things that are important. During the booms/bubbles all kinds of stupid ideas gain traction–cap and trade, global warming expenditures, ethanol to name a few.

Rockefeller is getting religion now because his state is hurting. Who ever thought that the Bush tax cuts would find overwhelming support? Personally I was against the compromise because I hate ethanol and increased spending but nevertheless it passed because of the severe econ crisis we find ourselves in.

patrick neid on December 17, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Let’s see…Rockefeller from a coal producing state…EPA (Obama) anti-coal…go figure.

As for “Environmental Justice”: get it out of your system Tree Huggers. The “Money Tree” is gonna be in new hands next month.

tgharris on December 17, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Maybe Rockefeller could try to talk some sense into California’s incoming governor (who now admits he had ‘no idea’ how bad things are!)

LASue on December 17, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Good, and let’s freeze idiotic CAFE standards as well. Next year Republicans need to take a hard look at the EPA’s budget. An organization that is as eager for new responsibilities as the EPA, is obviously overstaffed.

All government departments should have headcount cut 10% for starters, with the exception of the military.

slickwillie2001 on December 17, 2010 at 11:45 AM

The anti-”global warming” rules implemented since last April have been crippling the electric power industry, because nobody knows (not even the EPA) what Best Available Control Technology means for trying to prevent the emission of 250,000 tons/year (about 15.85 pounds per SECOND, or about 137 cubic feet per SECOND at standard conditions) of harmless carbon dioxide. Yet this EPA-prescribed lower emission threshold corresponds to less than 100 megawatts of power generated, MUCH smaller than most commercial generating stations (250 MW minimum).

All the currently available technologies end up wasting about 25 to 30% of the power generated, and no one knows which is cheapest and therefore “Best”. Since this Rule was never enacted by Congress, it could be overturned by a new EPA Administrator in two years, so very few power companies are willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with a rule which may soon be obsolete.

The GOP-controlled House in 2011 needs to cut off ALL funding for the EPA until this Rule is rescinded. If a Continuing Resolution is passed to fund the Government until February, the House could “starve the beast” from then on. (Electric) Power to the People!!!

Steve Z on December 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Welcome to Bizzarro World!

MJBrutus on December 17, 2010 at 2:04 PM

“environmental justice?

Now, tell me, what in hell is that??

How about this suggestion:

Homeland Security either do the job you were chartered to do or disband immediately.

NASA either come up with innovative ways to get men back to the moon and on to other planets or shut down, post haste.

Department of Justice, how’s about tending to regular old justice, you know, that rule of law thingie, and stop with this social justice and other garbage.

What’s gonna be next? Animal justice? Sea Kittens filing class action suits against people for genocide? NASA spending funding to build bridges to Copts, or maybe Tantric Hindus?

coldwarrior on December 17, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Economic Justice

Social Justice

Environmental Justice

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Lily on December 17, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Someone please, please, photoshop Janet Napolitano with a goatee.

Schadenfreude on December 17, 2010 at 12:14 PM

All right here you go. Best I could do on short notice.

Oldnuke on December 17, 2010 at 3:05 PM

The GOP-controlled House in 2011 needs to cut off ALL funding for the EPA until this Rule is rescinded FOREVER!

Steve Z on December 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Just a minor correction in grammar. I’d also like to see it become a capital crime to even suggest the resurrection of said agency. Would it be Ok to pass a retroactive law making it illegal to have worked for the EPA in any capacity?

Oldnuke on December 17, 2010 at 3:10 PM

the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring all Americans have strong federal protection from environmental and health hazards.

Hey you dip$hits in DHS, we here in the border regions are in need of federal protection from the environmental and health hazards created by the millions of illegal aliens trampling across our border, trashing our properties, bringing their communicable diseases into our communities, overwhelming our schools, hospitals, and social welfare and criminal justice services, and generally robbing us blind.

Why don’t you do something about that actual national security problem before you start worrying about protecting minorities from the hazards of air pollution or unkempt landfills or some other crap that’s not your job to be getting involved with in the first place!

AZCoyote on December 17, 2010 at 3:28 PM

They can’t control the environment anymore that I can control the freaking wind.

upinak on December 17, 2010 at 12:10 PM

You can’t control the wind? I sure can.

Here, pull my finger.

Dominion on December 17, 2010 at 5:09 PM