By Ben Geman and Darren Goode - 09/14/10 08:00 PM EDT
Several Democrats on the panel support halting EPA rules, although it’s not clear how many of them would back an amendment at the committee markup.
The plan to delay EPA climate rules is drawing strong support from industry trade groups, while environmentalists are lobbying against the measure.
A spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) believes the committee’s Democratic leaders scrapped the markup to avoid the showdown over EPA’s regulatory authority. “It seems to be enough to scare off the majority,” spokesman Robert Dillon said.
Dillon said Murkowski is on her way back to Washington, D.C., Tuesday, and was going to meet with staff Wednesday morning to discuss offering her amendment, which would delay the EPA regulations for one year.
More than 30 environmental groups sent a letter to members of the Appropriations Committee Tuesday urging them to oppose amendments that block EPA’s power to regulate heat-trapping emissions.
“Now is the time to move forward, not backward, in protecting public health, cutting pollution, and transitioning to a clean energy future,” states the letter from groups such as the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, Environment America, the Natural Resources Defense Council and many others.
“Every year that global warming pollution remains unaddressed means delayed investments in 21st century technology that will be the key to economic success in the future. Every delay means digging the nation deeper into a future of heat waves, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events,” the letter adds.