Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, announced today that he anticipates the Senate will vote on his resolution (SJR 37) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Utility MACT rule - the centerpiece of President Obama's war on coal - on Wednesday, June 20. Senator Inhofe noted that the momentum of support continues to grow ahead of the vote: the National Federation of Independent Business has publically backed Senator Inhofe's resolution. This news comes just as Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) announced that she will vote for the measure, joining Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) in support of Senator Inhofe's efforts.
"Next week, the United States Senate will have an opportunity to take the first step towards stopping President Obama's War on Coal," Senator Inhofe said. "As this important vote approaches, the momentum continues to build. I am pleased today to welcome the support of the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that understands how devastating this rule will be for jobs, affordable energy, and our economy. I also welcome the support of Senator Landrieu, who has announced that she will be joining Democratic Senators Manchin and Nelson to put a stop to the Obama-EPA's war and coal.
"As someone who voted for the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, and as Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee who introduced legislation in 2003 and 2005 to cut mercury emissions by 70%, I think we can all agree that members of this body share a commitment to improving air quality. But we can achieve air quality goals it in a way that does not harm jobs and the economy. The Obama-EPA's Utility MACT rule makes no effort to balance environmental protection and economic growth: with a cost/benefit ratio of 1600 to 1, it's very clear that Utility MACT is about one thing only and that's killing coal. By voting for my resolution, members of the US Senate would send EPA back to the drawing board to craft a more workable rule; a rule that does not threaten to kill coal and the millions of jobs that come with it, but a rule that aids utilities in reducing emissions without having to close their doors.
"I applaud Senators Landrieu, Manchin, and Nelson who are listening to their constituents about the pain President Obama's Utility MACT rule will inflict on them. I look forward to a vote next week when the American people will find out which Senators will do the right thing for their constituents and choose to end President Obama's war on coal, and which Senators will hide behind a cover bill that will continue to allow President Obama to kill coal - but just put off the execution date for six years."
Over the past few weeks, Senator Inhofe has picked up the support of Democrats and groups representing business and labor. Letters backing Senator Inhofe's resolution were written by Democrat Governor Earl Tomblin of West Virginia, West Virginia Lieutenant Governor Jeffrey Kessler, as well as a group of bipartisan West Virginia legislators.
In addition, Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America - one of the biggest labor unions in the country - recently sent a letter to several Senators saying that the union's support for Senator Inhofe's resolution is "based upon our assessment of the threat that the EPA MATS rule poses to United Mine Workers Association members' jobs, the economies of coal field communities, and the future direction of our national energy policy."
Senator Inhofe has also secured the support of nearly 80% of the private sector - businesses that are apparently not "doing fine" in the face of EPA's job-killing regulations.