GREENHOUSE GASES: On a tie vote of 50-50, the Senate on April 6, 2011, fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass a Republican measure to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate carbon emissions associated with greenhouse gases and climate-change. The amendment was offered to a small-business bill (S 493) that remained in debate. The EPA in March 2011 proposed a nationwide rule to curb toxic discharges from the nation's 400-plus coal-fired power plants. The Supreme Court ruled in April 2007 that the EPA has authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the administration is "trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA.... These new regulations would destroy jobs at a time when Americans need them the most, and they would be especially devastating for states such as Kentucky and other coal states."

Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said; "The tea-party Republicans say you can't restrict polluters with regulations....By their logic, we ought to get rid of traffic signals" and "maybe we ought to get rid of the air-traffic-control system, too, because why should pilots of these big aircraft have to wait for some government bureaucrat to tell them where and when they can land or take off?"

A yes vote backed the amendment.
Official Vote Number 54 Yeas 50
Bill Number S. 493 Nays 50
Date APRIL 6, 2011 NV 0
   Display Votes