Boxer promises to use 'every single tool' to thwart GOP's climate rollback

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she will “use every single tool available” to thwart efforts by House Republicans to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate regulations.

“Those who want to undermine these laws will bring harm to the American people,” Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, told reporters Thursday.

Boxer targeted her remarks toward Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who plans to target the EPA’s climate authority this year. Senators, including Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), also plan to work to delay or block the agency’s climate rules.

Boxer said she plans to highlight the health effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to turn public opinion against Republican efforts to block EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

“I will take that straight to the American people and do everything to stop them,” she said. Boxer also argued that a move to a low-carbon economy would result in new jobs in the clean-energy sector, a counter to arguments by Republicans that climate regulations will kill jobs.

But Boxer did not offer specific plans for how she intends to block legislation by Republicans and some Democrats that would either delay or block EPA’s climate authority. “Everything is on the table for us,” she said, adding that the Obama EPA is following the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court, which ruled that greenhouse gases can be regulated under the Clean Air Act if they are found to endanger health and human welfare. The EPA found that they did endanger health.

“My intent is to be on the side of the law and on the side of science,” Boxer said.

As The Hill reported yesterday, Boxer said she believes President Obama would veto any bill taking away EPA’s climate authority. And she said she doesn’t think the Senate could get the 67 votes to overcome that veto, though she noted that she had not yet done a whip count.