Look for the issue to pop up on the campaign trail, where Republicans will likely hammer red-state Democrats.
“Unless this issue moves into an appropriations context, the votes today have likely become a 2012 campaign ad,” a refining industry lobbyist told E2.
The Senate rejected the GOP plan and several Democratic alternatives to limit or delay EPA while leaving its authority intact.
But supporters floated an argument after the Senate action that the sum of the amendment votes shows an appetite to limit EPA. See below for links to E2’s coverage of the battle Wednesday.
Breaking down the Senate EPA votes
While a series of amendments to block or limit EPA climate regulations failed in the Senate Wednesday, they all gained some support from Democrats.
Republicans quickly pointed to the Democrats' support to argue that there is broad Senate backing for reining in EPA. But the GOP fell short of their goal on the most important climate vote of the day.
An amendment offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Healthcare: Trump threatens to leave ObamaCare in place if GOP bill fails Senate GOP hedges on ObamaCare repeal timeline MORE (R-Ky.) — and based on legislation introduced by Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeRepeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate GOP senator: EPA 'brainwashing our kids' A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Okla.) — to permanently kill EPA climate rules failed to get a majority of senators behind it. The Senate rejected the measure in a 50-50 vote.
The amendment needed 60 votes to pass. While Republicans never expected to reach that threshold, many were confident that they would get more than 50 senators to support the amendment.
Republicans vowed Wednesday to try and bring up their proposal again.
Here's a quick rundown of which Democrats supported the amendments:
Sens. Max BaucusMax BaucusGOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination MORE (Mont.), Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE (N.C.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharFCC: Over 12,000 callers couldn’t reach 911 during AT&T outage Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch MORE (Minn.), Mark BegichMark BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (Alaska), Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (S.D.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Carl LevinCarl LevinTed Cruz wants to destroy the Senate as we know it A package proposal for repatriation Silencing of Warren another example of hyperpartisan Senate MORE (Mich.) voted for the Baucus amendment.
Sens. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowPerdue says he will advocate for agriculture spending RNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Five things to watch for in Supreme Court showdown MORE (Mich.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick Sanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination MORE (Ohio), Bob CaseyBob CaseyUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Friends, foes spar in fight on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (Penn.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.) voted for the Stabenow amendment.
Neither the Baucus nor the Stabenow amendments — which would have placed various limits on EPA rules while leaving the agency's regulatory power intact — got any GOP support.
Sens. Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerObama to preserve torture report in presidential papers Lobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner MORE (W.Va.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist MORE (La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senate confirms Trump's pick for Israel ambassador MORE (W.Va.), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Top general: Trump State Department cuts would hurt military's efforts against Russia MORE (Mo.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Jim Webb (Va.) voted for the Rockefeller amendment, along with three Republicans: Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsFive takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (Maine) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support A real national security budget would fully fund State Department Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings MORE (S.C.).
The Rockefeller amendment would block EPA climate rules for two years.
Meanwhile, four Democrats supported McConnell's amendment to permanently prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. They include Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). One Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), voted against the amendment.
House Dem defends Koch Industries
Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), one of three House co-sponsors of the Republican bill to block EPA climate regulations, defended Koch Industries Wednesday on the House floor, noting that a subsidiary of the company, Georgia Pacific, has a facility in his district.
"I’m proud of the work Koch Industries brings to my district and its record of environmental stewardship," Boren said.
Boren added that he wants to make sure "Koch can continue to invest in Oklahoma."
His comments came a day after Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerry ConnollyHouse Oversight grills law enforcement on facial recognition tech Overnight Cybersecurity: White House says Trump confident DOJ will hand over wiretapping evidence | Dems push for surveillance law reform DC Metro rushed into yearlong repair program, watchdog finds MORE (D-Va.) offered an amendment to the Republican bill to block EPA climate rules that would change the title of the bill to the "Koch Brothers Appreciation Act."
The billionaire Koch Brothers, who run Koch Industries, have become a major target of environmentalists' scorn, having contributed to a series of Republican causes.
Lawmakers introduce natural-gas vehicles bill
Reps. John Sullivan (R-Okla.), Dan Boren (D-Okla.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Kevin BradyKevin BradyGOP rushes to vote without knowing full impact of healthcare plan Overnight Healthcare: Trump threatens to leave ObamaCare in place if GOP bill fails House GOP postpones ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (R-Texas) introduced a bill Wednesday that would offer tax incentives to encourage the development of natural-gas vehicles.
“Natural gas is a cleaner, cheaper, more abundant alternative to foreign oil, and it is in both our economic and national security interest to use the vast reserves we have right here in our own backyard as the bridge fuel towards energy security,” Sullivan said in a statement.
The bill comes after President Obama called for policies to encourage the development of natural-gas vehicles.
ON TAP THURSDAY:
Here are a few highlights from the energy-related events around town ...
Biofuels in focus: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to review Energy Department programs to boost biofuels and related infrastructure.
They’ll discuss Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE’s (D-Iowa) bill to boost ethanol by requiring increased manufacture of vehicles that can run on high ethanol blends, providing new federal grants for ethanol pumps, and several other measures to boost availability of biofuels.
House panel review economic effects of EPA rules: A panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will review legislation that would require new interagency analysis of certain EPA rules “in an effort to better understand how these policies are impacting America’s global economic competitiveness, electricity and fuel prices, employment, and reliability of electricity supply,” according to a GOP memo on the hearing.
The bill also calls for “analysis of the cumulative impacts of EPA’s rules on consumers; small businesses; state, local and tribal governments; labor markets; and agriculture.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Here’s a quick round-up of Wednesday’s E2 stories:
— Senate Republicans called on Obama to review the administration’s drilling policies
— A House Democrat said climate change is a bigger health threat than AIDS
— Sens. Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Tech: FCC chief says media isn't 'the enemy of the people' | Fallout from Comey's testimony | Google apologizes for ads near extremist content | US preps electronics ban on some flights FCC head: The media is not the 'enemy of the people' Overnight Tech: Dems grill FCC chair | Senators move to crack down on robocalls | House bill would roll back internet privacy rule MORE (D-N.M.) and Mark UdallMark UdallGorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' Election autopsy: Latinos favored Clinton more than exit polls showed Live coverage: Tillerson's hearing for State MORE (D-Colo.) introduced a renewable electricity standard
— Some House Democrats voiced support for a bill to block EPA climate regulations
— Obama called for bridging divides on energy policy
This post was updated at 9:08 a.m. on Thursday.