On April 6, 2011 the Senate voted down four amendments to delay or block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ability to regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act. The defeat of all of these measures marked a significant victory for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially from the largest polluters.
The Senate defeated Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) amendment to block greenhouse gas regulations by a vote of 50-50 vote (60 votes were needed for passage). Also defeated were amendments by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Max Baucus (D-MT) that would have postponed or limited the EPA’s authority to address greenhouse gas pollution.
This victory in the Senate ensures, for now, the EPA’s ability to move forward with climate regulations. The House of Representatives, however, passed a bill on April 7, 2011, by a vote of 255-172, to prevent the EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. Given the Senate’s position, the House bill can go no further.