Friday, April 8, 2011

Industry Association and Environmental NGO Reactions to Senate Greenhouse Gas Vote - Did They See the Same Vote?

As noted yesterday there were four votes in the Senate on amendments related to climate science.  Senate Democrats narrowly "defeated a Republican effort to ban the Environmental Protection Agency from controlling the gases blamed for global warming." Despite the unlikelihood of it ever becoming law, according to the Washington Post, "the Republican-led House moved Thursday to take away the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases in a vote largely negated by Senate action a day earlier to reject such a repeal." 

Industry and the environmental NGOs had predictably different reactions to the votes.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), a trade association representing most of the large chemical manufacturers, many of who are impacted by the Clean Air Act mandate for EPA to regulate pollutants, "welcomed signs of growing support in Congress for stopping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for stationary sources."  According to their press release:
“We are encouraged by these votes, which signal growing momentum toward stopping EPA’s GHG regulations,” said Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council. “Lawmakers from both parties agree this is a critical issue for the country, economic recovery and protecting American jobs. Congress must stop EPA so that business growth and hiring can continue.”

The NGO Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) had a different take on the votes. In EDF's press release, Tony Kreindler accused Congressional Republicans of attempting "to unravel public health protections under the Clean Air Act," and noted that "the amendments are a prelude to further attempts to weaken public health protections as the budget debate continues."  Further:
"Today's votes were an unprecedented assault on public health protections under the Clean Air Act. In 40 years we've never faced such a brazen attempt to rollback air quality standards," said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. "It remains to be seen which Senators will continue to side with clean air and who will vote to go backward."

Clearly industry and NGOs see this differently.

No comments: