Despite veto threats, critics say Obama would sign two-year delay of EPA regs

Since the 112th Congress was gaveled into session, lawmakers have introduced numerous different pieces of legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But they have all been burdened with a threat from President Obama to veto any bill that undermines the EPA’s authority.

As recently as last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson reiterated the president’s threat, telling reporters that “Nothing has changed.”

Republicans, for the most part, have been unable to figure out a way around this problem. Even if the House and Senate were to agree and vote on EPA regulation-blocking legislation with the same language, they would probably be unable to muster the two-thirds of the Congress necessary to override an Obama veto.

Some observers, including one U.S. Senator, are now speculating, however, that not only is President Obama’s veto threat hollow, but he actually wants to sign a bill that includes a two-year delay of implementation of EPA regulations against carbon.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said he thinks the president would support a bill that was introduced by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia that would delay EPA regulations for two years.

“That’s a possible scenario,” said Inhofe. “[Obama] wants to get it beyond the 2012 elections for his purposes.”

Inhofe went on to say, though, that President Obama wants to be able to sign a two-year delay bill and then tout it to voters as a White House effort — presumably to stimulate job creation and keep costs down for consumers.

But Inhofe, who has been the leading critic over the years of all climate change-related policy, isn’t the only one who foresees the president eventually signing a two-year delay.

“The administration would love to be forced to postpone implementation for a couple years,” Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research told The Daily Caller. “They will feign objections to a delay but that’s the briar patch they want to be thrown in.”

“It gets him [Obama] past the election,” Kish added.

The top lobbyist for an advocacy organization also told TheDC that because of the closeness of the 2012 elections, the White House may not want to veto any bill that Republicans have successfully framed as one that would save jobs and reduce electricity costs.

“People are smart enough in the White House to know EPA regulating greenhouse gases is a swamp,” the lobbyist said. They “would like the EPA not to do it deep down.”

When contacted by TheDC, Rockefeller’s spokesperson, Vincent Morris, said the senator had not been coordinating with the White House on a two-year delay, but “of course we’ve shared our concerns and our solutions.”

But even with the fast-approaching 2012 elections, Obama will have to walk a fine line between satisfying the public by delaying regulations and angering his liberal base and environmental groups by not defending the EPA’s authority.

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  • Sproing

    “Unfortunately, the environmental community has focused its efforts almost exclusively on abating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Domestic legislative efforts concentrate on raising fuel economy standards, capping CO2 emissions from power plants, and investing in alternative energy sources. Recommendations to consumers also focus on CO2: buy fuel-efficient cars and appliances, and minimize their use. ,

    This is a serious miscalculation. Data published by Dr. James Hansen and others show that CO2 emissions are not the main cause of observed atmospheric warming. Though this may sound like the work of global warming skeptics, it isn’t: Hansen is Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies who has been called “a grandfather of the global warming theory.” He is a longtime supporter of action against global warming, cited by Al Gore and often quoted by environmental organizations, who has argued against skeptics for subverting the scientific process. His results are generally accepted by global warming experts, including bigwigs like Dr. James McCarthy, co-chair of the International Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II.

    The focus solely on CO2 is fueled in part by misconceptions. It’s true that human activity produces vastly more CO2 than all other greenhouse gases put together. However, this does not mean it is responsible for most of the earth’s warming. Many other greenhouse gases trap heat far more powerfully than CO2, some of them tens of thousands of times more powerfully. When taking into account various gases’ global warming potential—defined as the amount of actual warming a gas will produce over the next one hundred years—it turns out that gases other than CO2 make up most of the global warming problem. ”


    What part of CO2 isn’t the enemy here do people NOT UNDERSTAND ??

  • RonitaM

    Just like the Scorpion in the story about the Scorpion and the frog, Obama will be a remarkably good little boy these next two years.
    His campaign mantra will be: “Here. Just get on my back. I’ll carry you across all deep waters.”
    We’ll say, “No. You’ll sting us half way across, and we’ll die.”
    He’ll counter, “No I won’t. Trust me. I care about you.”
    We’ll hop on his back, and half way through 2013, he’ll sting us.
    Sinking, we’ll cry out with our dying breathes, “You stung us! You promised you wouldn’t. Why?”
    He’ll shrug and say, “It’s my nature. Once a Scorpion, always a Scorpion.”

  • dookhh

    So they obviously are admitting that this is unpopular because it will hurt the economy, jobs and people and that is why they are afraid to implement them. The best strategy the Republicans could follow would be to let the EPA have all the rope it wants…..
    Tell the public that you can’t repeal it without a republican senate and president and let the EPA do your work for you. Make the president, the people and the EPA put up or shut up…..

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