By Ben Geman - 02/02/11 11:27 PM EST
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Wednesday that his bill to upend EPA climate change rules could gain traction in the closely divided Senate, claiming several Democrats are potential backers.
"I think there are a lot of Democrats, particularly some coming up in 2012, that might want to be on my side of this issue," he told reporters in the Capitol.
"I could name several — I won't — but I could name several Democrats that would like to be in support of my bill," Inhofe said.
Inhofe, the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, is working with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on legislation they're circulating this week.
Their plan would overturn EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries, factories and other facilities.
But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has already attracted several centrist Democrats, including a few facing potentially tough races in 2012, to his competing bill to suspend EPA's rules for two years without nullifying the agency's authority.