True or false quiz:
1. The American Power Act (Kerry-Lieberman climate bill) isn’t needed because the EPA will just enforce the Clean Air Act.
2. Congress can’t stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and enforcing the Clean Air Act.
3. The Senate only needs 51 votes to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
4. The Senate already has 41 of those 51 votes.
5. A vote will be taken by June 7, possibly early next week, on whether the Senate will let the EPA keep regulating greenhouse gases.
6. There’s nothing I can do about this.
1. Maybe. The compromises and Big Oil giveaways in the APA have deflated many progressives’ hopes of passing a good climate bill. However, the Clean Air Act has plenty of equally depressing compromises in it, like the "grandfather clause" allowing the country’s oldest, dirtiest coal plants to keep operating. Of course, the best antidote to deflated hopes is to demand a better climate bill free of the taint of BP and its cronies.
2. False. Congress can stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases by passing a "disapproval resolution" under the Congressional Review Act. If the disapproval resolution passes, the EPA will be prohibited from taking any action to regulate greenhouse gases. Forever.
Full text of a disapproval resolution, S.J. Res. 26:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (published at 74 Fed. Reg. 66496 (December 15, 2009)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.
3. True. A disapproval resolution only needs a majority vote.
4. True. S.J. Res. 26, sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Baked Alaska), already has 40 cosponsors — all Republicans except Scott Brown (R-Baywatch), plus Democrats Ben Nelson (D-Dust Bowl) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Toast). Companion bills in the House, H.Res. 974 and H.J. Res. 66, 76, and 77 have nearly 120 cosponsors among them.
5. True. Murkowski has until June 7 to force a vote on S.J. Res. 26, and rumor has it being brought to the Senate floor as early as next week.
6. False. You can use this nifty whip tool from CREDO Action to call your Senator. If you click on a Senator’s name, you’ll find talking points like these:
I support the Clean Air Act and it should not be compromised, rolled back or weakened. Sen. Murkowski is introducing a resolution that will take away EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
The Clean Air Act is a critical weapon in the fight against global warming. Dirty energy industries and their lobbyists want to weaken the Clean Air Act. I will remember at election time if [SENATOR NAME] stands with me or the dirty energy industry.
Report your call using CREDO’s form. And while you’re on the phone, you can also tell your Senator that s/he can keep bowing to the demands of Big Oil, or stand with the American people.