Reid, green groups plot strategy on Clean Air Act defense

A bill to block EPA greenhouse gas rules passed the House in April, but the same measure – and Democratic alternatives to delay the rules or limit their reach – failed on the Senate floor.

But 17 Senate Democrats voted for at least one of the plans, bringing the total number of senators backing some kind of restrictions on EPA climate rules to 64.

Environmentalists are trying to hold the line to protect the EPA programs, which Republicans have also sought to target in spending legislation. It’s a major priority for green groups following the collapse of sweeping climate legislation on Capitol Hill last year.

In a Twitter message ahead of the meeting, Brune said: “Mtg w Reid and other Dem leadership today. What do u think about holding D's accountable for votes to gut Cl Air Act/keep oil subsidies?”

Durbin said the meeting was “wide ranging.” A spokesman for Reid said: “They discussed priorities and talked about how best to work together to protect public health and the environment from bad legislation like the bill Republicans tried to pass today.”

The Senate on Wednesday turned back a GOP plan to expand and speed up offshore drilling.