GOP bill forces Obama to get congressional approval for carbon caps

“President Obama’s job-destroying environmental agenda continues to impose more mandates and energy regulations on the American people at a time when they can least afford it,” Rubio said. “Rather than kill jobs in an energy sector that employs many hard-working middle class Americans, President Obama and Congressional Democrats should support responsible pro-growth energy policies that will actually create thousands of new jobs.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The bill came on the same day the Senate voted 59-40 to confirm Obama's nominee to lead the EPA, Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyConvention shows Democrats support fracking, activists on the fringe Overnight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal EPA chief: US, negotiators nearing new emissions deal MORE.

The bill was prompted by a speech Obama gave last month announcing that his administration would start regulating carbon emissions of existing power plants. Republicans derided the move, calling it Obama’s “war on coal” and a “national energy tax.”

“Immediately after the president unveiled his national energy tax plan, I said that all members of Congress need to make it clear where they stand on his out of touch proposal,” Barrasso said. “My bill requires the Obama administration to have explicit Congressional approval before moving forward with excessive regulations that will kill jobs, close coal plants, and make energy costs skyrocket.”

Republicans have claimed that the regulations would increase energy costs that will be passed on to consumers, while Democrats argue a reduction in carbon emissions improves the public health and averts damaging climate changes.

“Allowing the Obama administration to impose cumbersome regulations — through yet another end run around Congress — would only drive up the cost of energy and discourage job growth, at a time when unemployment is still 7.6 percent,” Alexander said. “The best way to produce clean energy is to rely on our free enterprise system, which means ending Washington’s obsession with wasteful taxpayer subsidies and doubling energy research to encourage private-sector innovation.”

Barrasso said he would push for a Senate vote on his bill in the coming months.

More in Senate

Severe weather forces GOP senator to land plane

Read more »