Rockefeller says McConnell-Inhofe EPA bill “theological” and “immature,” can’t pass

posted at 2:47 pm on April 1, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The battle over an amendment to essentially strip the EPA of regulatory authority it arrogated to itself over the last two years deepened today when Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) blasted Republicans for abandoning his temporary measure.  Speaking from the Senate floor, Rockefeller angrily called the McConnell-Inhofe bill “theological,” “immature,” and warned that it had no chance of passage at all.  The full transcript will be at the bottom of the post, but here is the key portion:

I cannot tell you how strongly opposed I am to the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, not only because it goes too far, not only because it eviscerates EPA from some fundamental responsibilities it has–for example, CAFE standards–but it has absolutely no chance whatsoever of becoming law–none. Mine does. Theirs does not.

Do we think we are going to pass, and the President is going to sign, something that eliminates EPA forever? Oh, they will say: Well, we can always change that in a couple years. No, it is not that. It is a theological decision to pick out a campaign issue for 2012, and that is fine because that is the way things go. But to destroy the EPA permanently is an act I have not seen since I came here.

There will be people in many States, including my own, who think that is a wonderful idea, but I would ask them to think more deeply.

The McConnell-Inhofe amendment makes a point, but it doesn’t solve a problem. I am here to solve problems. So is the Presiding Officer. The amendment would take away EPA’s ability to address greenhouse gas emissions forever. It doesn’t make any difference what happens 5 years, 10 years from now–all the nuances that have to be made in policy or in regulation; if the air starts cleaning up, maybe things can lighten up a little bit; if it doesn’t clean up, maybe we have to do something. But they want to take away and put out of business forever the EPA , which looks out for the health and the safety of everyone who lives here, and it would be permanently banned from doing its job. Is this an adult amendment? It can’t be.

People must only be looking at the next election, or they must be afraid. To be afraid of voters is not a good thing. That is a quick way to lose. Telling the voters the truth–the Presiding Officer is pretty good at this–is what is more important in public policy. So they burn EPA forever. They can’t do anything, no matter what we know or what we learn in the future about greenhouse emissions. They want the total elimination of EPA’s role, with no other structure in place. Having nothing in place is irresponsible, unrealistic, and immature.

What we need is a timeout to stop the imposition of EPA regulations–regulations that don’t allow for the development of clean technologies, and that would hurt the economy at a critical time in our recovery, but to do it in a way that keeps us all focused and working on a long-term energy policy which doesn’t say close down. We should have a pause here, the pause that hopefully refreshes our ability to do clean energy policy. My bill would be effective from the date of its passage, were it to pass, so it would be 2 years. That is plenty of time to be able to come up with an energy policy. We have avoided doing that for so long now, and I think a lot of that is politics, and it is very sad.

First, this doesn’t make much sense. Even if Congress acted to entirely shut down the EPA, which is not what this amendment does, Congress could create a successor agency later, if desired.  In fact, that might not be a bad idea, especially from Congress’ perspective.  A new agency could get a much more restrictive charter on how and where it derives its jurisdiction and authority, which the current charter apparently doesn’t address well enough, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Second, if we want to talk about immature hyperbole, calling the McConnell-Inhofe amendment “theological” just dumps a lot of irony on Rockefeller’s head.  The environmental movement has become a belief system unto itself, where claims of “consensus” lead to charges of heresy and apostasy when people challenge the assumptions inherent in anthropogenic global-warming claims.  The McConnell-Inhofe amendment seeks to get the EPA out of the theology business and back under Congressional control, where it belonged all along.

On the notion that the bill has no chance of passage, at least one Democrat dissents — and it’s Rockefeller’s colleague from West Virginia.  In an interview this afternoon on WAJR with Hoppy Kercheval, Manchin believes he could get as many as 15 Democrats to cross the aisle for McConnell-Inhofe:

Question: “You signed onto the McConnell Amendment as a democrat, but you’re the only democrat I think who’s signed on to the McConnell Amendment.  Why can’t you get – you’re a persuasive person, you wear people down – why can’t you get other democrats to sign onto the McConnell amendment?”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “Well, I’m working on them I can tell you that from the standpoint – and I don’t know whether they don’t realize, I think a few more votes – I think they’re going to vote for it, I really do.  Now I guess they don’t want to take the lead on something that I feel so strongly about. I just believe that the EPA has totally overstepped its boundaries.  It was never an agency put in a position to the create public policy that’s going to affect us and change our way of life, I truly believe. So I feel strong enough to sign on. Other people might not, but I believe there’ll be 13 to 15 democrats that will vote for it.”

Q: “You think that many?”

Manchin: “I hope. I’m hoping.”

Later today, James Inhofe will respond to Rockefeller in a video statement. Hot Air got an exclusive sneak peek, and here’s a key excerpt:

Democrats know they can’t stand with the President’s energy policy publically – it simply doesn’t sell back home. So they are trying to have it both ways.

Since my bill was offered on the Senate Floor, Democrats have introduced three alternative amendments, all of which admit that EPA will harm consumers, farmers, small businesses, auto makers, coal-fired power plants, and manufacturers. But none of them will actually stop the harm.

That’s because these are what the newspaper Politico referred to as “cover amendments.”  What does that mean?  It means Democrats have designed amendments that create the appearance of getting tough on EPA, that they are “going to bat” for their constituents.  But at the same time, they want to keep President Obama happy, so they end up keeping his anti-energy cap-and-trade agenda in place. So farmers and all those who will be harmed by this agenda are left hanging out to dry.

The point of my bill is simple and straightforward: EPA’s cap-and-trade agenda should be repealed.  We know the reasons for this.  My friend Sen. Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, who is also a cosponsor of my bill, said it best recently.  He said, quote, “EPA has totally overstepped its boundaries.”  He also said, quote, “It was never an agency put in a position to the create public policy that’s going to affect us and change our way of life.”

Sen. Manchin is right.  Whether you live in West Virginia, or Ohio, or Michigan, or Missouri, or Oklahoma, if we don’t stop EPA, it will change our way of life, it will make energy less affordable, less reliable, and put our security and our economy at risk.

Rockefeller’s just angry that his cover got blown, and he’s throwing a temper tantrum as a result.

Rockefeller’s remarks follow in full:

Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, all of my colleagues, I think, know by now, after all of these months, almost years, how deeply I feel about the need to stop EPA regulation for a period of time so Congress can have the time we need to develop a smart energy policy, which we have not. It is enormously important to the people of West Virginia.

Having said that–and I will say quite a lot more–I cannot tell you how strongly opposed I am to the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, not only because it goes too far, not only because it eviscerates EPA from some fundamental responsibilities it has–for example, CAFE standards–but it has absolutely no chance whatsoever of becoming law–none. Mine does. Theirs does not.

Do we think we are going to pass, and the President is going to sign, something that eliminates EPA forever? Oh, they will say: Well, we can always change that in a couple years. No, it is not that. It is a theological decision to pick out a campaign issue for 2012, and that is fine because that is the way things go. But to destroy the EPA permanently is an act I have not seen since I came here.

There will be people in many States, including my own, who think that is a wonderful idea, but I would ask them to think more deeply.

The McConnell-Inhofe amendment makes a point, but it doesn’t solve a problem. I am here to solve problems. So is the Presiding Officer. The amendment would take away EPA’s ability to address greenhouse gas emissions forever. It doesn’t make any difference what happens 5 years, 10 years from now–all the nuances that have to be made in policy or in regulation; if the air starts cleaning up, maybe things can lighten up a little bit; if it doesn’t clean up, maybe we have to do something. But they want to take away and put out of business forever the EPA , which looks out for the health and the safety of everyone who lives here, and it would be permanently banned from doing its job. Is this an adult amendment? It can’t be.

People must only be looking at the next election, or they must be afraid. To be afraid of voters is not a good thing. That is a quick way to lose. Telling the voters the truth–the Presiding Officer is pretty good at this–is what is more important in public policy. So they burn EPA forever. They can’t do anything, no matter what we know or what we learn in the future about greenhouse emissions. They want the total elimination of EPA’s role, with no other structure in place. Having nothing in place is irresponsible, unrealistic, and immature.

What we need is a timeout to stop the imposition of EPA regulations–regulations that don’t allow for the development of clean technologies, and that would hurt the economy at a critical time in our recovery, but to do it in a way that keeps us all focused and working on a long-term energy policy which doesn’t say close down. We should have a pause here, the pause that hopefully refreshes our ability to do clean energy policy. My bill would be effective from the date of its passage, were it to pass, so it would be 2 years. That is plenty of time to be able to come up with an energy policy. We have avoided doing that for so long now, and I think a lot of that is politics, and it is very sad.

The Environmental Protection Agency, I have to say, including to my own constituents, is not a frivolous agency. It is the object of much scorn in my State and a lot of States that produce coal and probably in the minds of a lot of Senators. It was created to regulate pollution. We think back to wartime London where people couldn’t see 5 feet in front of their faces. I think back to when I was a student in Japan for 3 years at the end of the 1950s, and we couldn’t see 3 feet in front of our faces. Now all of a sudden we can see for thousands of miles, so to speak, because the air is clean.

Again, the Environmental Protection Agency is not a frivolous agency. It was created to regulate pollution. That is its job. Does that make it uncomfortable? Yes. Does that make me want to pass my amendment? Yes, to have a stop for a period of 2 years where they cannot go to stationary sources and others and say that you can’t do anything. It is a pause, but at the end of the pause, it doesn’t put EPA out of business–that would be crazy.

It is Congress’s job to legislate, and that includes energy policy–granted, stipulated. I think the Presiding Officer would say that is lawyer’s speak: It is stipulated. It makes it a fact. Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 and has updated it in the decades that followed. Is the Clean Air Act perfect? Certainly not. Certainly not. Very few laws ever are, which is why we are always open to making them better. But eviscerating the EPA’s ability to do its job forever is nonsense. It is childlike: I will take my football and I am going home. It feels good.

Some folks will get up and cheer, standing up for coal. We know what this does. This is standing up for natural gas. We have a lot of natural gas in West Virginia. Natural gas has 50 percent of the carbon dioxide that coal does. So people think that by doing this, people are going to go ahead and burn coal in powerplants and other places. They are not. North Carolina already has 12 powerplants which are being switched from coal to natural gas–probably more by now. That was about a year ago. Ohio is doing some of the same. Other States are doing some of the same. Natural gas is abundantly plentiful. I like natural gas. It is a terrific thing. It is 50 percent as dirty as coal, but it is less dirty and it is cheaper. So powerplants are going to that.

I am trying to figure out in my mind, How does that help West Virginians? How does that help West Virginia coal operators or, more importantly to me, coal miners? If people are suddenly making up their mind that they are going–and I have had the president of American Electric Power tell me this directly: Of course we will switch to natural gas. He put it more succinctly. He said: I would use banana peels if they could produce heat. They don’t stay with coal out of loyalty. They have to deal with certainty. Here we create permanent punting about what the landscape is going to be for energy use and the making of electric power in our country.

Again, may I please bring up once again that this bill has no chance of becoming law–the McConnell-Inhofe bill has no chance of becoming law. So why do they do it? They have to know that. I don’t think it will pass here. It certainly isn’t going to pass at the White House. In politics you can say, Oh, I wish there were a Republican President in the White House. There isn’t. There is a Democratic one. He is not going to let this happen. He is not going to have an executive agency with an enormous amount to do with CAFE standards and all kinds of regulations obliterated, eviscerated, eliminated. He won’t do that. He will veto it if it should ever get that far.

So what is going on in their minds? What do they think they are doing? Are they trying to impress their constituents, holding high a banner saying, Look, I am courageous; I will get rid of this whole EPA thing and we can all celebrate together? Pretty shortsighted, I would say. Pretty shortsighted. Feel good? Yes. Do good? No.

I think it is well known in West Virginia we have very serious disagreements with EPA . I say all kinds of things about the EPA constantly in all kinds of situations, but people do care about clean air. They do care about clean water also. It is not a sin. Sometimes in America you can get the best of both worlds. We want a strong future for clean coal and we want a national energy policy that protects and promotes clean coal.

Let me make a point. When I say the words “clean coal,” the only hearing of that is “coal.” People don’t hear the word “clean.” So I have to make a point here. Don’t blame coal miners for this. Coal miners go into the mines every day in these unbelievably difficult situations and they mine the coal that is there. It has been there for a billion years that God put there. That is their job. Maybe it is high ash; maybe it is low ash. Maybe it is high sulfur; maybe it is low sulfur. They mine what is there, and then that gets shipped to a powerplant or to other countries for steel-making purposes.

One of the ironies about all of this is some of the loudest anti my amendment–my little 2-year amendment that stops at the end of 2 years–comes from coal operators who actually don’t ship much coal to powerplants. They ship most of their coal, because it is low sulfur, overseas to the growing market in South Korea and China and a lot of other places, including Japan. So what difference does it make to them? None. But they want to be in the chorus so they join the chorus about let’s get rid of EPA . They are not affected. They are mainlining it right overseas and making tons of money because it is very low sulfur coal and very good for making steel.

We know if coal is frozen in time the way Senators McConnell and Inhofe are proposing, it will be rapidly eclipsed by other energy sources. Oh, yes, most especially natural gas. We have so much natural gas in West Virginia that you could swim in it if you could get about 10, 15 feet underground. I like natural gas. It is a great asset to have it in Marcellus Shale. The problems of fracking can be solved, and will be through technology. But that is what is going to happen. Then our coal miners are going to look at some of their representatives on both sides of the aisle here and in the House and they are going to say, Now wait a second. I thought you were protecting me. How come I am not mining coal? How come some of these powerplants have now switched to natural gas, in the majority, let’s say, a few years from now?

So McConnell-Inhofe as an amendment codifies the vicious uncertainty that is threatening coal today. Electric utilities are right now making, as I have indicated, investment decisions based upon that uncertainty. It is a bad place from which to make a decision. And with very few exceptions, logically–that means they are not building or rebuilding coal-fired plants–natural gas will overtake coal. West Virginia wins in either case because we have so much coal, we have so much natural gas. But in this particular amendment, I am trying to protect coal miners and their jobs by having carbon capture and sequestration, by having a policy, and there are others that are out there. We already have two in West Virginia which are taking more than 90 percent of the carbon out of coal. They are at work. American Electric Power Company, Dow Chemical Company, they are both doing that, both making money out of it, and yes, the government helps. But they are taking more than 90 percent of the carbon out of coal. Doesn’t that turn coal into clean coal? Isn’t clean coal what we want? Isn’t that what we have to have?

This is all part of a drive for an energy future for West Virginia coal miners and others, other people around the country, for a clean energy future. In effect, my amendment is a timeout. It is the timeout we need. It is the only option on the table that can pass. It can pass. It is fine to bring an amendment here which makes us feel good–muscular, antigovernment, let’s make government smaller; let’s get rid of government–and swell your chest and feel good and put out a great press release, but then it ends up not passing the Senate or it ends up getting vetoed. One of the two is going to happen. So it is a nonstarter.

I think a lot of those on the other side of the aisle are going to throw the vote for political purposes, as I indicated. If we can remember back to the Omnibus Act in December of last year, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the coal association, all Republicans had agreed to vote for my 2-year amendment.

It was a timeout amendment. All of them. The papers calculated who it was, how we would get the 60 votes, and we got there. And then what happened–and this is a little bit in the weeds, and I apologize for that–but all of a sudden, nine Republicans withdrew from that omnibus agreement, so there was no way for it to come up. Why? I don’t know. Was that the beginning of a massive plan of thinking that we are going to make this an issue for the next 2 years so we can wipe out more Democratic seats? It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with energy policy.

As I say, my amendment said that for a period of 2 years, the EPA will not have the power to enforce greenhouse gas rules on stationary sources, including powerplants, manufacturers, and refineries. So they cannot do anything for a period of 2 years–regulatory–about powerplants, manufacturing companies, or refineries–for 2 years. The moratorium would last for 2 years, and then it would stop. Why? Because 2 years is, in fact, enough time, if we can get ourselves together around here, for serious people to come up with a serious energy policy that includes clean coal and everything else on the face of the Earth that works to get our country off of foreign oil.

Two years is enough time to develop a plan to build the carbon capture and sequestration technologies and get them accepted by Wall Street, which will fund them endlessly once they are convinced they are working on a sufficient scale. As I say, this is being demonstrated by the American Electric Power Company and the Dow Chemical Company in West Virginia right now. I will repeat that they are taking 90 percent of the carbon out of coal. It sounds like a good deal, to me. Natural gas has 50 percent carbon. Clean coal would have 10 percent carbon. Which is a better deal? I think the second one is. My amendment would lead to that.

I would say 2 years is enough time to get past this pointless debate about whether climate science is real and find common ground and find solutions that create jobs, protect the air we breath, and make us energy independent.

Two years is enough time to take the big decisions about greenhouse gases out of the hands of the regulators at EPA and put them back in the hands of Congress. Greenhouse gas emissions are an enormously important issue, but they are not the only problem we face, and they cannot be allowed to take precedence over every other matter that affects our people. We really can find ways to solve this problem, protect our core industries, and lessen the costs.

The joint CAFE rule–it is a big deal–between the EPA and the Department of Transportation is a case in point and relevant to the debate today because it is also undermined by the McConnell-Inhofe amendment. The CAFE rule saves Americans billions of gallons of gasoline and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It does it very explicitly. It keeps going up. The air gets cleaner. I think the figure is that transportation overall is something like 50, 60–maybe a little more–percent of our air pollution problems. CAFE standards become very important.

Most of us believe strongly that we need to make our cars more efficient, not just for the environment but also because of the high cost of gasoline and its impact on every American family, not to mention our national security. But under the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, EPA could never again work on fuel-efficiency standards. The recent progress we have made, which is so widely supported by industry and the American people, could be undermined. This is not a solution; it is a permanent punt–or maybe a stunt. I will not support that.

Last year, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle overwhelmingly declared their support for my amendment, as I said. The daily newspapers had come out on the Hill and calculated the 60 votes that I had to overcome a filibuster. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was all for it.

Suddenly, some seem to want to have a fight more than a policy, and they want to have a fight for the next election more than a policy, more than they want to work together to solve the problem. Suddenly, they say: Stopping the EPA for 2 years isn’t good enough; we can stop them permanently. Folks back home would love that. They say they would rather stand by and do nothing if they can’t stop the EPA forever. In effect, that is correct. They think the American people will not see through that.

My amendment has been around for over a year now. People know what it does. So to call this a cover vote is disingenuous at best.

EPA’s regulations that came into effect this year say that if a company wants to retrofit an existing one or build a new powerplant or factory, they now have to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Because of these new rules, companies won’t build that new factory, that new powerplant, or employ some of the millions of Americans who are out of work. That is why I believe these regulations need to be suspended. That is in my amendment.

Senator Inhofe has repeatedly argued that Congress needs to make these decisions. I agree with that. My bill would give Congress the time it needs to discuss the options, and my approach creates a reasonable timeout. Doing away with EPA authority doesn’t give clarity; it indefinitely kicks the can down the road. My amendment, which unfortunately will come whenever it comes, no doubt won’t do particularly well because all of the folks on the other side and some, unfortunately, on this side will vote for that because they think it sounds kind of neat. It probably won’t do very well, but that doesn’t mean it is not right.

Let’s have real solutions, such as clean coal that must play a role in meeting our energy needs, and let’s be sensible and bipartisan about it. West Virginia is ready to provide that coal, and so are a lot of other States.

I urge my colleagues to support my amendment and quickly turn to a discussion about our Nation’s energy future.

I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.


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To be afraid of voters is not a good thing.

Mr.Rockefeller. If that statement doesn’t tank you in your next election, I don’t know what will.

capejasmine on April 1, 2011 at 2:51 PM

In an interview this afternoon on WAJR with Hoppy Kercheval, Manchin believes he could get as many as 15 Democrats to cross the aisle for McConnell-Inhofe:

Wow. Now, will all the republicans behave themselves?

ted c on April 1, 2011 at 2:53 PM

To be afraid of voters is not a good thing.

This has been the latest edition of “Democrats Revealing Their True Beliefs”.

Tune in next week when we discover the new and exciting ways that quote will find its way into a conservative television ad.

amerpundit on April 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Brevity, Mr. Rockefeller…

… brevity!

Seven Percent Solution on April 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM

not only because it eviscerates EPA from some fundamental responsibilities it has–for example, CAFE standards

Garbled grammar aside, the CAFE standards are a joke.

Count to 10 on April 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

A new agency could get a much more restrictive charter on how and where it derives its jurisdiction and authority, which the current charter apparently doesn’t address well enough, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Indeed. The EPA is Nixon era politics and was given to the liberals as a bone for them to chew on.

Get Rid Of The EPA!

Kini on April 1, 2011 at 3:01 PM

“To be afraid of voters is not a good thing.”

This is exactly why the Dems lost ~700 seats across the country last year…what a buffoon.

ontheright on April 1, 2011 at 3:01 PM

It is a theological decision to pick out a campaign issue for 2012, and that is fine because that is the way things go

Um, did he mean “political decision”?

Count to 10 on April 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Close down the EPA

I’m damned tired of this. The EPA has no constitutional right to exist, much less demand that state governments bow to its will.

Vashta.Nerada on April 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Rockefeller… from the party of the little people.

(And is there ANYTHING more “theological” than AGW and Demon Carbon?)

Crawford on April 1, 2011 at 3:11 PM

There are “tens of us” who agree with Inhofe…

mjbrooks3 on April 1, 2011 at 3:13 PM

It is a theological decision to pick out a campaign issue for 2012, and that is fine because that is the way things go. But to destroy the EPA permanently is an act I have not seen since I came here.

Welcome to the new and improved post-2010 election world, Senator.

Would that you see many more such acts before your eyes go dim.

Lily on April 1, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Rockefeller, like Barry tries to straddle the issue, and as usual – fails miserably. Why do the people of West Virginia keep returning this worthless piece of political crap to the Senate?

GarandFan on April 1, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I’d love to see a big rift between Manchin and Rockefeller. Friends in WV swear that Manchin is a bona fide conservative. I’m a little doubtful, but it does look like he doesn’t care what little Lord Fauntleroy thinks. Pass the popcorn.

BuzzCrutcher on April 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM

This type of thinking is derived from trust fund recipients.
Ancestral guilt must ruin logic.

nimrod on April 1, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Hack >> Projection. It’s all they know.

Caststeel on April 1, 2011 at 3:28 PM

This type of thinking is derived from trust fund recipients.
Ancestral guilt must ruin logic.

nimrod on April 1, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Privilege never trumps intellect or experience. However, privilege often gives one access to positions of power in which one is not otherwise qualified to be.

Lawrence on April 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM

There will be people in many States, including my own, who think that is a wonderful idea, but

But there to effin’ stupid to know any better.

Burgher on April 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Rockefeller is not afraid of the constituents in WV because have of them are high on meth, and the other half are Democrats charading as Republicans. The man will get a pass. WV has legacy syndrome.

jeffNWV on April 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Thus sayeth Rockefeller:

We already have two in West Virginia which are taking more than 90 percent of the carbon out of coal.

Excuse me????

Coal Combustion and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The amount of heat emitted during coal combustion depends largely on the amounts of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen present in the coal and, to a lesser extent, on the sulfur content. Hence, the ratio of carbon to heat content depends on these heat-producing components of coal, and these components vary by coal rank.

Carbon, by far the major component of coal, is the principal source of heat, generating about 14,500 British thermal units (Btu) per pound. The typical carbon content for coal (dry basis) ranges from more than 60 percent for lignite to more than 80 percent for anthracite. Although hydrogen generates about 62,000 Btu per pound, it accounts for only 5 percent or less of coal and not all of this is available for heat because part of the hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water vapor. The higher the oxygen content of coal, the lower its heating value.(3) This inverse relationship occurs because oxygen in the coal is bound to the carbon and has, therefore, already partially oxidized the carbon, decreasing its ability to generate heat. The amount of heat contributed by the combustion of sulfur in coal is relatively small, because the heating value of sulfur is only about 4,000 Btu per pound, and the sulfur content of coal generally averages 1 to 2 percent by weight.(4) Consequently, variations in the ratios of carbon to heat content of coal are due primarily to variations in the hydrogen content.

IOW, Higher carbon leads to greater heat. If you cut carbon down by 90%, you get significantly less heat and in turn require more coal to attain whatever BTU target needed for said industry.

I think the old soon-to-be-extinct dodo is talking about scrubbers to crub the CO2 which is way different from carbon content of coal. And this from a longtime represenative of WV. Bah!!!

AH_C on April 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

but it does look like he doesn’t care what little Lord Fauntleroy thinks. Pass the popcorn.

BuzzCrutcher on April 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM

LOL… “Little Lord Fauntleroy”
I think that’s gonna stick.

Key West Reader on April 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Rockefeller says McConnell-Inhofe EPA bill “theological” and “immature

Talk about projection. Sheesh.

Close down the EPA
Vashta.Nerada on April 1, 2011 at 3:03 PM

If I’ve learned anything, it’s there is no such thing as reform of big government. There may be brief respites with conservative leadership, but it always reverts to form.

Feedie on April 1, 2011 at 3:43 PM

It’s funny that the party that endlessly hectors us about the mythical “wall between church and state” has fully embraced the religion of ‘global warming’ and intends to use the federal government to impose that religion on the rest of us.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM

The amendment would take away EPA’s ability to address greenhouse gas emissions forever. It doesn’t make any difference what happens 5 years, 10 years from now

B.S. straight from Rockefeller’s mouth. No Congress binds another, nothing is “forever.”

If, five or ten years from now we need the EPA to address greenhouse gas emissions then the Congress will simply authorize them to do so.

The problem that needs to be addressed right now is that the EPA in is crazy mode and needs to be brought under control.

RJL on April 1, 2011 at 3:47 PM

At what point does name-calling, etc. violate Senate rules?

“Civility” indeed.

BD57 on April 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Conservative Senator Inhofe used about 500-600 words to present his defense of his bill. Liberal senator rockefeller uset over 9000 worde to castigate inhofe’s bill. I think Rockefeller, as most liberals are, has incoherent explanations of his actions and thinks that blah blah blah (ljust like BHO) will convince everyone he is right.

Every time I see BHO or a liberal fellow traveler, I think of Charlie Brown’s school teacher – bla bla bla blah bla bla blah blah…

Old Country Boy on April 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The Republican leadership is asking its Members to make a silly vote. And it’s time for us to stop that silliness and get serious about the creation of jobs, get serious about not shutting down government, abdicating our responsibilities and shutting down government. — Nancy Pelosi (D-EXTREME former House Speaker who didn’t pass a budget for FY2011)

J_Crater on April 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Here’s my summary of Rockefeller’s statement.

Mr. President, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Republicans suck. Thank you. I yield back.

Next idiot, take the mic.

OhioCoastie on April 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM

The amendment would take away EPA’s ability to address greenhouse gas emissions forever without Congressional authorization.

Fixed that one.

It doesn’t make any difference what happens 5 years, 10 years from now.

Right – because we all know Congress that McConnell-Inhofe would set policy for all time & no future Congress could decide to, you know, give EPA the authority it’s trying to usurp.

After running that last bit through the Rockefeller BS disgronificator, here’s what he really said ….

“Congress won’t be willing to go anywhere near this five or 10 years from now, because by then the science will have turned decidedly against greenhouse power grabs like what EPA has in mind. Our only hope is to delay implementation a bit in the hope you rubes find something else to interest you; if that’s what it takes to get this done, that’s what I’m going to do.”

BD57 on April 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM

AH_C on April 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

We often get ‘journalist wanna-be scientists’ writing on energy topics and failing miserably. Exhibit One is the Japanese nuclear reactor problem coverage.

slickwillie2001 on April 1, 2011 at 4:08 PM

They always project, don’t they? Theological, indeed.

John the Libertarian on April 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Indeed. The nihilist worshipers of Gaea lecturing us on injecting our religion into our politics. No irony there.

A Balrog of Morgoth on April 1, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Manchin says it could get 15 Democrats in Senate.

Yeah, the Blue Dog Democrats wouldn’t vote for ObamaCare either. Manchin’s 15 Democrats and a couple dollars will get you a cup of coffee.

RJL on April 1, 2011 at 4:51 PM

not only because it eviscerates EPA from some fundamental responsibilities it has–for example, CAFE standards

Garbled grammar aside, the CAFE standards are a joke.

Count to 10 on April 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Worse than a joke. The CAFE standards killed the full sized station-wagon, and replaced it with the less safe, less efficient SUV.

I find this to be very indicative of all Government meddling.

Slowburn on April 1, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Rockefeller:

We should have a pause here, the pause that hopefully refreshes our ability to do clean energy policy.

Time for a Coke?

iurockhead on April 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Just cut the cr_p and cut the budget.

Done That on April 1, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Defund, disestablish and sell off its property so we can get something useful from the EPA.

ajacksonian on April 1, 2011 at 6:07 PM

To be afraid of voters is not a good thing.

If only Boehner had this fear…

ladyingray on April 1, 2011 at 7:17 PM

But there to effin’ stupid to know any better.

Burgher on April 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

When you insult people, you should be sure to run spell check…

ladyingray on April 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Mr.Rockefeller. If that statement doesn’t tank you in your next election, I don’t know what will.

No Inside Baseball info, but I’m still willing to bet a small amount that Rocky won’t run in 2014. Just look at that photo above. My first thought was “yikes”. It reminds me of seeing Byrd photos about 5 yrs ago – not that he looks quite that old, but, that there has been a big change of late. My guess is he will feel the need to spend more time with his family.

humdinger on April 1, 2011 at 7:20 PM

DEFUND CONGRESS!!!

PappyD61 on April 1, 2011 at 8:53 PM

Dems are also trying to protect their President. He will veto and be revealed as a lefty wacko, and the media will have to cover it.

exdeadhead on April 1, 2011 at 9:10 PM

If it has no chance what so ever of passing and becoming law why is he spending time saying so. They are afraid of this one because there are a lot of Democrats who represent areas that the EPA has damaged with their excessive power.

old war horse on April 1, 2011 at 10:52 PM

The EPA does some good stuff. Air IS cleaner. I am not sure it is as clean as the cost suggests it should be. But, stopping the EPA altogether is not a good thing. Sadly, it is a necessary thing, along with stopping or virtually stopping almost everything that is not mandatory and a hefty percentage of what IS mandatory.

We cannot afford the burden just now.
{o.o}

herself on April 2, 2011 at 4:50 PM