And so a drama that began last December, when the EPA declared carbon dioxide to be an environmental hazard, ends predictably. Here’s the roll. All 41 Republicans voted yes — even Scotty B, despite an ad campaign in Massachusetts aimed at pressuring him to oppose the measure. Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, and even Jay Rockefeller, who hails from the coal capital of West Virginia, crossed the aisle to vote with the GOP. Result: The EPA will indeed retain its power to, in Ed’s words, “inject itself into just about every industry in the U.S.” in the name of reducing greenhouse gases. More from ABC:
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who offered the resolution to neuter the EPA, said that capping carbon emissions would create a new energy tax and kill jobs. Boxer pointed to the jobs lost in the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone says their side is the one that will help the job market.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, accused Republicans of choosing “political science over the real science.”
And Durbin said Republicans would be siding with big oil companies if they took power from the EPA.
“Are we going to criticize them in the morning with speeches and then reward them in the afternoon by defeating this legislation?” asked Durbin…
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, said Democrats want to abdicate Congressional authority to regulate to the EPA, which, except through the President, is unaccountable to voters.
“Who elected the Environmental Protection Agency?” Barrasso asked.
Don’t cry too hard over the vote. For one thing, there was zero chance of it passing the House (although watching purple-district Democrats agonize over whether to vote for it would have been fun) and The One would have vetoed it even if it had. For another thing, consider this a trial run on the viability of cap-and-trade. If Reid can’t get 60 to agree that, yes indeed, carbon is very dangerous, he’s not getting 60 for a much broader regulatory regime like C&T. Nor, given the latest polling from Nevada, will he want to even try. Exit quotation from Dan Foster: “I don’t want to hear a liberal bemoan executive supremacy ever again. This is Congress abdicating its own authority because the Democrats know they can’t get the votes to pass cap-and-trade.”