A bipartisan Senate resolution opposing the centerpiece of President Obama's climate change agenda was introduced Friday, following a lawsuit filed by 24 states in federal appeals court in Washington aiming to kill far-reaching climate rules.
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced the bill Friday after the Environmental Protection Agency published its landmark emission rules, the Clean Power Plan, in the Federal Register. The publication of the rules makes them challengeable in the courts as well as Congress.
The resolution of disapproval introduced Friday would repeal the Clean Power Plan by applying the powers of the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the authority to repeal any regulation. A similar measure is being drafted in the House.
"If the resolution is enacted into law, it would nullify the Clean Power Plan, including any portions of the regulations that have already gone into effect," the senators said in a joint statement. The resolution has the full backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose state of Kentucky is part of the 24-state lawsuit. The senators said McConnell will introduce his own resolution of disapproval later Friday.
"It is my intent to pursue all available avenues for fighting back against the administration's devastating assault on West Virginia's energy industry," Capito said. "Too many Americans, jobs, families and communities have been negatively impacted by this administration's overreaching regulations, and more pain will be felt if the Clean Power Plan is ever implemented.
"Congress deserves to have an opportunity to vote on whether the administration's far-reaching energy regulations should go into effect, and I look forward to working with Leader McConnell and others to make that happen."
Heitkamp said the final Clean Power Plan that EPA published Friday turns the tables on her state. The final rule "requires emissions reductions four times higher for North Dakota than were required by the proposed rule, even after my state's utilities spent considerable time and resources working in good faith with the EPA on a viable goal," she said.
"This resolution enables many senators to express their frustration legislatively, and is just one avenue — I'll keep doing everything I can to find workable solutions for North Dakota utilities and consumers through any and all available options," the Democratic added.