Senator Claire McCaskill, in a statement posted today on The Hill’s Congress Blog, said that she was voting no on Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution to weaken the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse emissions, because:
… it would eliminate EPA’s ability to regulate emissions from vehicles. The government and the auto industry have agreed to set these new standards for vehicle emissions and it would be a mistake to jeopardize this historic agreement, which will reduce our dependence on oil by 1.8 billion barrels.
But wait just a minute before you start celebrating. The glass is only half-full. McCaskill quickly added that she was, instead, collaborating with Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) to hamstring the EPA in a slightly less onerous fasion (automobile emissions could be regulated by the EPA in the proposed Rockefeller legislation) for two years in order:
… to give Congress time to figure out how we can reduce emissions without burdening consumers and small businesses in Missouri, while still allowing the EPA to move forward on regulating auto emissions.
Give Congress time …. hmmm, where have I heard that before. Isn’t this the mantra of all the obstructionists for whom it’s becoming fashionable to bellyache about usurping congressional privilege while refusing to let the Congress ever do anything? Seems to me that Congress has had lots of time, but I don’t see that they’ve made much progress. It is hard not to agree with Davis Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate Center:
….Blocking the Clean Air Act will do nothing to bring Congress closer to passing comprehensive climate and energy legislation. Rather than fighting global warming solutions, we need to focus on cutting carbon pollution in a way that will spur clean energy investment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Oh well, I guess I should be happy that the glass is half-full and not empty, and that McCaskill won’t back Murkowski’s particular obstructionist efforts. I’ll call her and let her know that I appreciate her vote – and that I really wish she’d reconsider endorsing Rockefeller’s efforts. There are issues where there’s room to hew to the center; but the climate crisis is not one of them.
UPDATE. The Murkowski resolution was defeated 47-53. So give McCaskill her props on this one.