Like a lot of industry groups, the farm lobby says it would prefer that Congress tackle climate change rather than leave the job to Environmental Protection Agency bureaucrats. But now, the prospect of EPA greenhouse gas regulation looms large — mostly because agriculture and so many other interests haven’t liked any of the climate bills proposed so far on Capitol Hill.
Not to worry. The same onslaught of lobbyists and lawyers — representing about 1,170 businesses and interests — that helped dim prospects for climate legislation in this Congress is now engaged in an energetic, multifront offensive to delay or block any attempt by the Obama administration to enact an alternative through regulation.
Overt and covert support for Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s pending resolution to stop the EPA from regulation and similar legislation introduced in the House is but one prong of this assault. Opponents of federal curbs on fossil fuel emissions are also seeking allies in the states and in other federal agencies, while paving the way for court action to directly challenge the EPA’s initiative.