Boxer: EPA climate delay bill could pass, but would be rejected by Obama

The endangerment finding, which says that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health and welfare, compels the EPA to regulate the emissions. Overturning the finding would take away the agency’s climate change regulatory authority. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has called for a delay in EPA’s climate authority, while Republicans have said they want to outright block the agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. 

“If they pass something like that I don’t think it would pass eventually because I don’t think the president would sign it,” Boxer said, adding that the bill likely won’t be able to gain the 67 votes necessary to overcome a veto. “I don’t see 67 votes in the Senate to take away the protections of the people from dirty air or water.”

Rockefeller has said that he will reintroduce legislation that would delay by two years EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. A last-ditch attempt to have a vote on the bill at the end of the last Congress failed, after Republicans pulled their support for the measure.

Republicans, led by incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), are hoping to pass legislation that would either outright block EPA’s authority or delay it until the relevant legal challenges snake their way through the courts.

The EPA has already begun to phase in limits on carbon pollution from new facilities, and plans to impose greenhouse gas standards on power plants and refineries in 2012.