There are a half-dozen other such measures in circulation, at least one of which would weaken the agency’s long-held powers to regulate conventional ground-level pollutants like soot and mercury.
One or another of these bills has a real shot in the Republican-controlled House. Their chances are slimmer in the Senate, where the bigger danger is a proposal by Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, that would block any new regulations on power plants and other industrial sources for two years.
That is just obstruction by another name. It would delay modernization and ensure that more carbon is dumped into the atmosphere. History shows that regulatory delays have a way of becoming permanent. […]
In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised to protect “common-sense safeguards” to the nation’s environment. The rules under siege in Congress will help clean the air, reduce toxic pollution in fish and slow emissions of greenhouse gases. It is hard to imagine anything more sensible than that.
As Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said, “There is a case to be made that, in the contest between corporate profits and children’s lungs, someone should be standing up for children’s lungs.” Will Sen. Webb really choose to stand on the side of corporate profits?