Inhofe bashes Rockefeller’s claim that GOP abandoned block-EPA effort

But Inhofe quickly noted that in June the Senate turned back Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiTrump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Republican Sen. Collins considering run for Maine governor in 2018 Alaska senators push bill to allow Arctic drilling MORE’s (R-Alaska) GOP-backed resolution that would have gone even further by stripping EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions outright.

The prospect of action on Rockefeller’s less-aggressive bill helped siphon votes from Murkowski’s measure, Inhofe said. Murkowski’s plan failed on a 47-53 vote, although six Democrats (including Rockefeller) supported it.

“We had an opportunity to put an end to EPA’s job-killing cap-and-trade regulations when we voted on the Murkowski disapproval resolution—requiring 51 votes for passage—earlier this year. My friend’s promise, however, to push for a two-year delay as an alternative contributed significantly to the resolution’s defeat—a resolution, I would note, that he voted for,” Inhofe said.

He also accused Rockefeller of passing up chances all year to attach the two-year delay to various bills, which would have meant a 60-vote hurdle for passage.

Rockefeller earlier this week said he might seek to suspend Senate rules during debate on an omnibus spending bill to bring up his measure, which would have meant clearing an even higher bar – 67 votes – to advance it. But the Democratic effort to pass the omnibus fell apart Thursday anyway.

“The bar was raised each and every time, making more difficult to pass the two-year delay,” Inhofe said.