Senate Rejects Bid to Block Carbon Standards

WASHINGTON (March 23, 2013) – Late last night, the Senate rejected a bid to block standards to limit the dangerous carbon pollution that is driving climate change. 

The measure, an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Resolution proposed by Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, would have prohibited the Environmental Protection Agency and the executive branch from developing standards under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

In response, Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement: 

“The Senate stood up for the action we need to limit carbon pollution from power plants. This is the fifth time in less than two years senators have rejected efforts to block these needed safeguards. Now it's time for the administration to act.

“As President Obama has noted, we have an obligation to protect future generations from the ravages of climate change. Americans widely support that call to action, and so does the U.S. Senate.

“Reducing our carbon emissions is part of a larger shift toward the clean energy future we all know will help to put Americans back to work, make our companies more competitive worldwide, and create healthier and more prosperous families and communities. Let’s get going.”

In a second vote key to protecting our environment and health, the Senate spurned an attempt to block EPA limits on mercury and other toxic chemicals in the air we breathe. That measure, an amendment sponsored by Sen. Dan Coats, R-IN, would have enabled power plants to seek presidential exemptions from the mercury and air toxics standards the EPA has issued under the Clean Air Act.

“The Senate stood with Americans everywhere and their right to breathe clean air. By creating a needless loophole in these vital protections, this amendment would have put the interests of big polluters over public safety and health. The Senate was right to say no to that.”