Despite the obvious benefits of renewable energy and environmentalism, Congressional debate over it continues. This has proven true recently when the Senate Appropriations Committee pushed ahead a $31 billion spending bill for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Interior Department, aimed at President Barack Obama's call for environmental regulations. As the Associated Press notes, this move serves to block initiatives for stopping global warming, mandating better clean water regulations and better regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal land.
Republications who back this bill claim environmental regulations are an outright assault on the coal industry, farmers and western landowners. Majority Lead Mitch McConell (R-KY.) claims this bill will protect jobs, keep electricity prices low and fight back against the overreach of the EPA. McConell said that Obama's plan for more environmental regulations is part of his administration's "war on coal," despite some debating that the decline of the coal industry is mainly the work of the nation's marketplace and movement towards cleaner energy sources.
This measure is expected to warrant a veto threat from the president and a filibuster on part of Democrats who are angry with a series of GOP threats to block existing EPA rules on environmental regulations, such as stricter ozone pollution standards and updated clean water rules.
"It takes aim at bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act," said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M). "And it would weaken them permanently — ignoring the will of a broad bipartisan majority of Americans, who believe in protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink."
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