The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to declare greenhouse gasses a public health threat will be the Democrats' "Waterloo," Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said on Tuesday.
Barton, speaking at a press conference, said that the EPA's ruling will do Democrats great political harm.
"It is going to be, in my opinion, the political Waterloo of the Democrat Party here in the United States,” Barton said.
Barton’s comment is not the first time a Republican has used the Waterloo charge against Democrats.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in July said of healthcare reform legislation “If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” The remark drew the ire of the president and Democrats in Congress.
On Monday, the EPA issued an “endangerment finding” declaring that greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide pose a danger to public health. The finding would allow the agency to regulate more strictly vehicle emissions levels as well as industries that produce high levels of the gasses.
The decision was made as the United Nations’ Copenhagen climate conference begins. Barton will attend the conference with a delegation of lawmakers. The president will also attend the conference.
Critics of the decision say that it was made as a latent threat to the Senate and skeptical industry interests to pass cap-and-trade legislation.
House Republican Conference chairman Mike Pence (Ind.), however, called the ruling “legally questionable.”
Barton and other Republicans at the press conference said they would release a supposedly suppressed internal EPA report that says the decision came “too soon.”