Bush’s Clear Skies Act is on life support after a vote today in the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee failed to draw enough support to push the measure to the Senate floor. The committee had been deadlocked 9-9 on the bill for weeks, and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), committee chair, was unsuccessful in his arm-twisting attempts to sway at least one more senator to his side. (Barack Obama [D-Ill.] had been thought a potential swing vote, but he held his ground. Phew.)
As AP’s John Heilprin writes, “The committee vote doesn’t preclude Republican leaders from bringing the bill to the full Senate for action” — though they’d have to do it through unconventional methods. “But it also arms opponents with several parliamentary tactics that they can use to defeat it on the Senate floor.” Whatever that means.
Inhofe knew just who to blame: “This bill has been killed by the environmental extremists who care more about continuing the litigation-friendly status quo and making a political statement on CO2 than they do about reducing air pollution.”