Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced a bill on March 4 that would delay the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. S. 3072 is very similar to an unsuccessful Senate Resolution sponsored by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. The bill is gaining more attention following the collapse of negotiations on comprehensive climate legislation prior to the August recess of congress.
Senator Rockefeller’s bill would place a two-year delay on the EPA’s ability to regulate GHGs until congress can more comprehensively study the future of America’s energy needs and production. EPA regulation of GHGs is a major concern of the coal industry, and the removal of this authority is the industry’s self-described, number-one priority.
Environmental and some advanced energy business groups are pushing congress to not entertain S. 3072, what some refer to as the “Dirty Air Act.” Advocates on both sides of the issue await congress’ action (or inaction) on the measure.