Today, Senate Western Caucus Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), along with the rest of the Senate Western Caucus Members, voted in favor of Senator Murkowski's (R-AK) disapproval resolution. The disapproval resolution, which was defeated by a vote of 47-53, would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating virtually all large and small businesses across the country because of climate change.
Senate Western Caucus members warn that the EPA's endangerment finding will result in a top-down, command-and-control approach that will add burdensome mandates that will cost small and large employers millions. It will have a negative impact on every major sector of the economy.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "the endangerment finding expands the regulatory universe under the Clean Air Act from a few thousand businesses to almost six million."
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): "The Environmental Protection Agency ought to be focused on the Gulf, not on handcuffing small businesses with excessive regulations. At a time when the unemployment rate is over 9 percent, the endangerment finding will only kill jobs and make it tougher for small businesses to stay afloat."
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID): "Allowing any federal agency to unilaterally move forward on issues of this magnitude not only allows politics to drive policy decisions; it locks out the voices of Idahoans, Americans and their elected representatives in Congress. Such an important debate as climate change, and the potential to drive up costs on consumers and small businesses, should not be left in the hands of Washington, D.C., bureaucrats. I strongly oppose this action by the EPA, and that is why I am an original cosponsor and strong supporter of the Murkowski resolution."
Senator John Ensign (R-NV): "At a time when Nevadans are continuing to battle against this slumped economy, Democrats are looking for yet another way to tax them. We cannot tax and spend our country into recovery; we need to do the exact opposite by cutting spending and instituting tax incentives that encourage job creation and economic growth. The Democrat tax on energy will only continue to hurt struggling small business in my state and across the country, which will do nothing to repair this broken economy."
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY): "This carbon grab by the EPA flies in the face of the legislative intent of the Clean Air Act which was never intended to regulate carbon. Yet the EPA and others in the Administration are moving forward with drastic attempts to over regulate anyway."
Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT): "We are being asked to give up trillions of dollars in economic activity, send all new manufacturing activity overseas, give up millions of jobs, and put basic human activities under the control of the EPA all for a benefit that cannot be measured on a household thermometer after a hundred years of sacrifice and pain."
Senator James Risch (R-ID): "The EPA rule is nothing more than another power grab by a federal agency and an erosion of the constitution of this great country. It would lead to a massive tax on every aspect of American life from the ringing alarm clock in the morning to the last light switch turned off at night and it would be levied by bureaucrats who are not held accountable to the voice of the people. The merits of global warming and how to address it should be debated in the legislative bodies of Congress, not decided by an unelected bureaucratic agency of the federal government."
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS): "The EPA's efforts to sidestep the Congress and burden our fragile economy with regulations, will mean that Kansans, and all Americans, are likely to see an increase in their utility bill, transportation costs, basic consumer goods and food. I am particularly concerned of the consequences for our farmers and ranchers. I will continue to fight against such proposals that damage our competitiveness in world markets, ration domestic energy and result in greater government bureaucracy."
Senate Western Caucus Membership
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Chairman
Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT)
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Senator Jim Risch (R-ID)
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senator David Vitter (R-LA)
Senator John Thune (R-SD)