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Environmental Regulations a Top Priority for the New Republican Majority
"Senate Republicans are gearing up for a war against the Obama administration’s environmental rules, identifying them as a top target when they take control in January," writes Timothy Cama, energy and environment reporter for The Hill.
The GOP sees the midterm elections as a mandate to roll back rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, with Republicans citing regulatory costs they say cripple the economy and skepticism about the cause of climate change.
"Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expected to ascend to majority leader after winning re-election in part because of success in Kentucky coal country, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that his top priority would be “to try to do whatever I can to get the (EPA) reined in,” according to the Tribune Co.
While anti-environmental legislation they pass on their own could still meet President Barack Obama's veto pen, there are other avenues to pass their agenda. For example, they could "attach measures...to budget proposals or other major legislation, the president 'would be then confronted with a choice,' said Scott Segal, a lobbyist for the energy industry in Washington."
“Do I essentially shut down the EPA or do I work with Republicans in the House and in the Senate to reform my proposal?’” stated Segal about Obama's choices.
David Goldston, director of government affairs for Natural Resources Defense Council, was not expressing pessimism though. “In previous fights, the president has made it clear he will not be cowed by people trying to load up spending bills with provisions the public doesn’t support,” he told the Tribune.