GOP Leaders Intensify Assault on Protections against Carbon Pollution, Dirty Drinking Water and Smog

WASHINGTON (November 2, 2015) -- The anti-public health, anti-environment Republican leadership in Congress is planning its most intense assault yet on environmental protections. Starting as early as tomorrow and continuing through November, they plan votes in both chambers to block some of the strongest safeguards ever issued to protect against dangerous carbon pollution, dirty drinking water and lung-scarring smog.

The following is a statement by David Goldston director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“The Republican leadership has no plan whatsoever to protect the public from climate change or from air and water pollution. They refuse even to recognize that climate is a problem. Instead, they are spending time on measures to block every forward-looking policy the Obama Administration has put in place to safeguard health and the environment. These efforts are bound to fail because any such bill that passes faces a certain veto, and any veto will be sustained; but they do underscore the abject lack of any positive agenda on the part of the Republican leadership.”


On Tuesday, the Senate may take up a bill by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) to kill the new Clean Water Rule. That’s likely to be followed by a vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to kill the same rule. Also this week, House Republicans are scheduled to begin marking up their CRA resolutions targeting the Clean Power Plan. Floor votes are likely in both chambers before Thanksgiving. We also expect to see Congressional attacks on smog limits (ozone rule) in the coming weeks. In addition, work will begin on final spending bills, on which Republican leaders have vowed to include anti-environmental riders, blocking action on climate, clean water, smog, endangered species, land conservation and other areas. 

For further background, please see these staff blogs:

David Goldston: “Reality Check: Government Shutdown Still Looms:”

John Walke: “President Obama Should Do Better than EPA Standard that Fails to Protect Americans from Harmful Smog Levels”:

Jon Devine: “Halloween Trick: Act Now to Stop Two-Headed Senate Monster’s Attack on Clean Water” (including an NRDC fact sheet):

NRDC’s resource book: “The Case for the Clean Power Plan”:


Related Press Releases