Barrasso To Introduce Bill To Block Federal Climate Regs

by Myron Ebell on January 29, 2011

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) plans to introduce a bill early next week to prohibit the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions using existing legal authority, such as the Clean Air Act.  It is my understanding that the bill will not overturn the deal on Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks that the Obama Administration negotiated in secret with the State of California and the automakers.  However, it will block any future Clean Air Act waivers for greenhouse gas emissions, so that California won’t be able to do the same trick again after the new CAFÉ standards go into effect in 2016.

It remains to be seen whether Senator Barrasso’s bill will have any Democratic co-sponsors.  It has been rumored that freshman Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has decided not to co-sponsor the bill.  If true, then Senator Manchin is already retreating from his tough talk in the campaign.  He certainly won’t be living up to the television commercial that got him elected in which he is seen shooting a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill.

This shouldn’t be too surprising.  The Senate Democratic leadership and the White House are probably leaning hard on Manchin.  Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday announced committee assignments for the 112th Congress.  Manchin was given a seat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  It would be cynical to suggest that there is any connection between that and deciding not to co-sponsor the Barrasso bill.

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