Sen. Ben Nelson says he'd support GOP amendment to delay EPA regs

Nelson is one of a handful of Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee who have supported efforts to delay — or outright block — EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The panel was initially scheduled to take up the EPA and Interior spending bill Thursday.

Nelson is a co-sponsor of a bill by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that would delay the regulations two years to give Congress more time to deal with the issue. He also supported a resolution from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) disapproving of EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

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He said a growing number of his Democratic colleagues might be leaning in favor of at least delaying the agency regulations.

“I haven’t done any sort of whip count on that legislation, so I haven’t talked to any of my colleagues, but it wouldn’t surprise me, with the arrogance of the EPA, that it’s gaining momentum,” he said. “It’s making several people feel uncomfortable, including myself.”

He directed his ire toward EPA rather than the White House for pushing through climate change regulations as a way to try to force the hand of Congress to deal with carbon emissions legislatively.