With hopes for a federal climate change law wavering, the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate CO2 via the Clean Air Act looms at the most likely route for an economy-wide limit on the greenhouse gas. Unless the Senate votes otherwise, according to The Hill:
Under a Senate agreement reached Tuesday, the planned January debate on further increasing the U.S. debt ceiling will include a vote on Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) amendment that would block EPA from working on emissions rules. The Senate will take up the debt measure Jan. 20
Murkowski had wanted to attach the amendment to an EPA spending bill in September but Democratic leadership did not allow a vote.
Her plan would have required EPA to take a one-year hiatus from crafting restrictions, and Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon said the debt bill amendment is the same measure.
Congress and the White House have said they prefer a new law regulating CO2 over the EPA regulating it, but that threat of EPA action is actually proving to be the most effective stick in getting all parties to the negotiating table.