A resolution brought to the Senate floor to nullify EPA’s mercury air toxics standard for power plants fell four votes short of the 50 needed to pass.
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), author of the resolution, attempted to put a positive spin on the defeat by stating that debate over the resolution during the last several months “thoroughly exposed” EPA’s “radical agenda.”
“Unfortunately, even though a majority in this body has gone on record as wanting to rein in an out-of-control EPA, especially those from coal states, some chose not to stand with American families, but with President Obama – and they are complicit in the millions of jobs that will be lost and the skyrocketing energy prices that will be forced on their constituents,” Inhofe was quoted as saying in a statement.
He added that during the debate, “we exposed the economic pain of EPA’s rules, gaining the strong bipartisan support of business groups and labor unions, of Democrats and Republicans from states that will feel the heavy hand of the federal government as it puts them out of business.”
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a major liberal environmental group, was quick in applauding the results of the vote.
“Today’s bipartisan Senate vote is a victory for health, clean air and common sense,” said John Walke, NRDC’s clean air director. “Despite fear mongering by the coal industry, some utilities and their allies, the Senate has rejected an irresponsible effort to repeal mercury and air toxics protections that are backed by science and required by law.”