This Week in the Congress

by Myron Ebell on November 12, 2011

in Blog

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Senate Defeats Resolution to Rein in EPA

The Senate defeated Senator Rand Paul’s resolution of disapproval of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) on Thursday, November 10. The vote on S. J. Res. 27 was 41 to 56.

Under the Congressional Review Act, the resolution required only a simple majority. Forty-one votes was a disappointing result. It can largely be blamed on four senators, who introduced two competing bills to delay rather than block the rule. S. 1833 was introduced by Senators Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.). S. 1815 was introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

These bills allowed several Senators to vote against the resolution, while claiming that they support doing something. Since neither of these bills has any chance of getting the sixty votes necessary, this claim is entirely hypocritical.

The odd thing is that the four senators introducing these two bills represent states covered by the CSAPR, which may do serious economic damage to their economies. Perhaps they don’t care.

Solyndra Update

This week in the Solyndra saga, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released e-mails that reveal a lot of lobbying of the White House by Solyndra and its principal investors. The e-mails cast doubt on the claims by everyone involved that George Kaiser’s frequent visits to the White House were only to talk about his charitable causes.

The funniest e-mail was from Ken Levit to Steve Mitchell, two major Solyndra investors, on February 27, in which Mr. Levit wrote that, “They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office when we mentioned Solyndra” A follow-up email from Mitchell to Levit later that day responded, “That’s awesome! Get us a [Department of Energy] loan.”

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