One of the biggest fights in Congress this term will center around preventing the Environmental protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions through the Clean Air Act. Energy lobbyists sound confident:
At least 56 senators — just four short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster — will most likely support measures to hamstring climate rules, and an additional eight votes may be in play this Congress, a POLITICO analysis shows.
Any congressional attempt to limit regulatory authority is always difficult to achieve, an industry lobbyist told POLITICO. But given the sluggish economy and the long list of moderate Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2012, “the chances are better than ever” for a vote to limit EPA’s authority. ...
But for Democrats on the fence, arguments from the Senate’s left flank may not be enough to persuade them to vote for rules the GOP has dubbed “job killing” regulations, amid a struggling economy.
“Most of the aggressive supporters of the agency in the U.S. Senate provide precious little comfort to moderates in either party,” the industry lobbyist said.
The story is framed in terms of moderate Democrats fearing voters. But the truth is that voters strongly approve of regulating carbon emissions. If moderate Democrats want to hamstring the EPA, it's the industry they're responding to, not the public.