Friday, June 11, 2010

Watch/Listen/Read: Senate Votes on Resolution to Halt Costly EPA Global Warming Regulations

Sen. Inhofe Takes Questions from the Audience at AFP's Press Conference  

View More Pictures From the Press Conference on Senator Inhofe's Facebook Page

Senator Inhofe this week was a leading voice in the effort to pass the Murkowski resolution to overturn costly EPA global warming regulations. Democratic leadership cut a deal to ensure they had the votes to defeat Senator Murkowski's resolution, but one thing is absolutely clear: there is a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate that supports either a delay of, or an outright ban on, the Obama EPA's job-killing global warming agenda.

Sen. Inhofe advocated tirelessly to generate support for the Murkowski Resolution, including a press conference with fellow Republicans and groups including Americans for Prosperity. Senator Inhofe also hit the airwaves and was pleased to join the Scott Hennen show as well as Oklahoma radio stations KTOK and KFAQ.

Sen. Inhofe released a statement following a vote on the Murkowski Resolution:

Release: Bipartisan Senate Majority Agrees to Rein in Obama EPA on Global Warming

Inhofe delivered a floor speech on the Murkowski Resolution and Obama's EPA: 

WATCH/READ: Inhofe: Let's Stop Obama EPA Job-Killing Agenda

Sen. Inhofe joined Sens. Bond and Brownback at an Americans for Prosperity event in support of Murkowski Resolution:

WATCH: Inhofe Speaks at AFP Press Conference 

Sen. Inhofe along with several Republican Senators spoke at a press conference in support of the Murkowski Resolution:  

WATCH: Inhofe: EPA Regulations All Cost, No Impact

Inhofe Interviewed on the Scott Hennen Radio Show and Oklahoma's KTOK and KFAQ:

LISTEN: Inhofe on the Scott Hennen Radio Show 

LISTEN: Inhofe Talks with KTOK Host Reid Mullins

LISTEN: Inhofe on KFAQ’s Pat Campbell Show

EPW Minority Policy Beat gives a history of EPA's Endangerment Finding, and explains why Senators should support the Murkowski Resolution:

Link to EPW Policy Beat: Time to Vote Yes on Murkowski

Also See News Coverage:

Read Coverage: E&E News: Senate leaders strike deal to lure Dems from Murkowski

Read Coverage: The Hill: Democrats Scramble To Prevent Major Loss on EPA Global Warming Regs

Hearing Statement: Legislative Hearing on S. 3305 - The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act of 2010

Sen. Inhofe made the following statement Wednesday at a Full Committee Legislative Hearing on S. 3305, The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010.

Thank you, Madam Chairman, for scheduling today's hearing to examine the complex issues surrounding the strict liability limits in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. 

On May 27, President Obama held a press conference to explain his role in addressing the BP spill.  He said his Administration is "relying on every resource and every idea, every expert and every bit of technology, to work to stop it. We will take ideas from anywhere, but we are going to stop it."

When I heard this, I thought, "That's great, Mr. President, you're focused on exactly what you should be focused on."  Of course, we in Congress need to do the same.  As I've said during previous hearings, Congress should focus on three priorities.  We need to:

 - Mitigate and contain the environmental impacts;

 - Provide assistance to the Gulf's affected commercial and recreational industries; and

 - Investigate the causes so we can prevent a disaster of this kind from happening again. Staying focused  will help us make prudent decisions. 

Which is why I was discouraged when President Obama, in the same press conference, veered off course: he said the spill occasioned passage of global warming legislation.  He referred approvingly to the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade vote in the House last year. 

This raises obvious questions: How would cap-and-trade, a massive energy tax on consumers, stop the spill?  How would it clean up the spill?  How would it help those affected by the spill?  And how would it help us determine what happened so we can prevent it from happening again?

Well, it wouldn't.  So I respectfully call on President Obama-and my colleagues here in the Senate-to concentrate on fixing this problem.  Let's avoid getting sidetracked by cap-and-trade or other issues that will needlessly complicate efforts to address real problems. 

And I would add this: let's avoid overreaching.  Now this incident is serious-people died, people's economic livelihoods are at stake, and the environment is being harmed.  But I am concerned that the President's moratorium on deepwater drilling could harm the economy in the Gulf.  The Louisiana Department of Economic Development estimates that the President's active drilling suspension alone will result in a loss of 3,000 to 6,000 Louisiana jobs in the next few weeks and over 10,000 Louisiana jobs in the next few months. More than 20,000 jobs are at risk over the next 12 to 18 months.

So, today's hearing on S. 3305 is a welcome step, Madam Chairman.  Two weeks ago, I had to object twice to unanimous consent agreements to debate S. 3305 on the floor.  We hadn't had a hearing on it-that's one of the reasons I objected.  This bill involves complex issues that must be understood before we act.  If we get this wrong, we could set back this nation's energy future for decades.

Now why do I say that?  Well, it's what the experts are telling us.  A recent letter from Alliant Insurance, which insures offshore oil and gas operations, sums it up well:

"If the liability cap is increased to the levels we understand are under consideration ... in our view only major oil companies and NOC's (National Oil Companies) will be financially strong enough to continue current exploration and development efforts."

This letter was in reference to S. 3305's $10 billion liability cap on economic damages.  The insurers believe smaller U.S. independent producers won't be able to drill with that limit.  And bear in mind that "National Oil Companies" means those that are state-owned, such as the Chinese Offshore Oil Corporation.   Do we really want China drilling in place of America's independent producers?

Alliant is not alone in holding this view.  Consider this statement from INDECS insurance consultancy: "If we have understood the proposals correctly, then it would appear to us that the proposed bill will not act as ‘Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010', rather making it impossible for anyone other than ‘Big Oil' to operate."  I ask that this letter be submitted for the record.  Lockton Companies insurance brokerage has said much the same thing: "Without insurance, many of the active exploration and production companies would be unable to operate in the Gulf of Mexico.  This decision will affect thousands of people, their families and their local economies."  I ask that this letter be submitted for the record.

Madam Chairman, our response to this tragedy should be measured, and it should be based on facts.  How we respond could have far-reaching consequences for the Gulf and the nation.  There's simply too much at stake to get this wrong.

In the News... State Journal: Minority Report: EPA Assaulting Coal

The State Journal

Minority Report: EPA Assaulting Coal

June 10, 2010

By Dan Page

Link to Article

Link to EPW Minority Report  

The minority staff of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee produced a report last month that says in plain English what many people in Appalachia believe: "Our investigation found that the Obama Administration is using the Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting process to dismantle the coal industry in the Appalachian region."

A government report cannot be clearer. It said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, by bringing the issuing of Clean Water Act 404 permits to a virtual halt, is signing the death certificate for a significant portion of the Appalachian coal industry. Coal companies must have water quality permits to operate both surface and deep mines. The May 21 report said the agency is holding up 190 permits.

Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., serves as ranking member of the committee, and his staff produced the report, "The Obama Administration's Obstruction of Coal Mining Permits in Appalachia."

The report arrived at a time when the EPA is poised to declare carbon dioxide -- a byproduct from the combustion of coal -- a dangerous pollutant. The Senate was expected to vote June 10 on a proposal from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to deny EPA the power to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Murkowski and other senators, including some Democrats, believe the EPA has gone too far, causing economic harm.

Sound familiar?

While the EPA attacks carbon and the coal industry in the air, it also has attacked coal on the ground. Inhofe's committee report made the following findings regarding the EPA's stranglehold on water quality permits:

About one in four coal mining jobs in the Appalachian region will be at risk and 81 small businesses will lose significant income and risk bankruptcy. That's coming at a time of national and global economic stress.

The EPA's permitting halt will hit West Virginia and Kentucky especially hard. If the EPA continues to block the 404 permits, West Virginia stands to lose $217 million in tax revenue a year.

More than two years of America's coal supply will be in jeopardy.

Shutting down half of eastern coal production could lead to decreases in fuel supplies and increases in energy prices for many Americans.

The report said the EPA has tried to cast its slowdown in permitting as an effort to more carefully review the effects mountaintop mining has on water quality. But the report was critical of the way EPA has portrayed its conduct.

"For decades, the environmental community has politicized mountaintop mining by exaggerating its environmental impacts and stoking unfounded fear in mining communities," the report said. "Our investigation shows that the Administration is exploiting this fear as a means to block all coal mining operations in the Appalachian region."

Furthermore, the report said the EPA's statements about its review of mining permits "appear to address mountaintop mining only." But the report called those statements misleading. The report said the EPA, in blocking 190 coal mining permits in Appalachia, halted 19 mountaintop mining operations. The rest of the 171 blocked mining permits were for a range of surface, underground and refuse operations.

Mining companies acquired mineral rights and prepared their properties with the expectation, based on the law, that they could employ workers, recover coal, recover their investment and make a profit. But the EPA's anti-coal zeal has placed those investments at risk.

Congress should step in and demand that federal agencies provide the predictability that the law assures. If Congress backs down, then coal companies will have no choice but to go to court. The government clearly is trying to deprive private citizens of their property.

In the News... BP, Democrats, and Cap and Trade

Washington Examiner

Once a government pet, BP now a capitalist tool

By Timothy P. Carney

June 9, 2010

Link to Column 

As BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig was sinking on April 22, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was on the phone with allies in his push for climate legislation, telling them he would soon roll out the Senate climate bill with the support of the utility industry and three oil companies - including BP, according to the Washington Post.

Kerry never got to have his photo op with BP chief executive Tony Hayward and other regulation-friendly corporate chieftains. Within days, Republican co-sponsor Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repudiated the bill following a spat about immigration, and Democrats went back to the drawing board.

But the Kerry-BP alliance for an energy bill that included a cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gases pokes a hole in a favorite claim of President Obama and his allies in the media - that BP's lobbyists have fought fiercely to be left alone. Lobbying records show that BP is no free-market crusader, but instead a close friend of big government whenever it serves the company's bottom line.

While BP has resisted some government interventions, it has lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout, and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.

Now that BP's oil rig has caused the biggest environmental disaster in American history, the Left is pulling the same bogus trick it did with Enron and AIG: Whenever a company earns universal ire, declare it the poster boy for the free market.

As Democrats fight to advance climate change policies, they are resorting to the misleading tactics they used in their health care and finance efforts: posing as the scourges of the special interests and tarring "reform" opponents as the stooges of big business.

Expect BP to be public enemy No. 1 in the climate debate.

There's a problem: BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the nation's largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired power plants that switched to gas.

In February, BP quit USCAP without giving much of a reason beyond saying the company could lobby more effectively on its own than in a coalition that is increasingly dominated by power companies. Theymade out particularly well in the House's climate bill, while natural gas producers suffered.

But two months later, BP signed off on Kerry's Senate climate bill, which was hardly a capitalist concoction. One provision BP explicitly backed, according to Congressional Quarterly and other media reports: a higher gas tax. The money would be earmarked for building more highways, thus inducing more driving and more gasoline consumption.

Elsewhere in the green arena, BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels and solar energy, two products that cannot break even without government support. Lobbying records show the company backing solar subsidies including federal funding for solar research. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency, is currently financing a BP solar energy project in Argentina.

Ex-Im has also put up taxpayer cash to finance construction of the 1,094-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan, Turkey-again, profiting BP.

Lobbying records also show BP lobbying on Obama's stimulus bill and Bush's Wall Street bailout. You can guess the oil giant wasn't in league with the Cato Institute or Ron Paul on those.

BP has more Democratic lobbyists than Republicans. It employs the Podesta Group, co-founded by John Podesta, Obama's transition director and confidant. Other BP troops on K Street include Michael Berman, a former top aide to Vice President Walter Mondale; Steven Champlin, former executive director of the House Democratic Caucus; and Matthew LaRocco, who worked in Bill Clinton's Interior Department and whose father was a Democratic congressman. Former Republican staffers, such as Reagan alumnus Ken Duberstein, also lobby for BP, but there's no truth to Democratic portrayals of the oil company as an arm of the GOP.

Two patterns have emerged during Obama's presidency: 1) Big business increasingly seeks profits through more government, and 2) Obama nonetheless paints opponents of his intervention as industry shills. BP is just the latest example of this tawdry sleight of hand.

Once a government pet, BP now a capitalist tool.

In the News... WSJ Editorial: Obamas Oil Crisis Politics

Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Obama's Oil Crisis Politics

Democrats want to change the subject from the Gulf spill to cap and tax. BP approves.

June 07, 2010

Link to Editorial

Not too many weeks ago it looked as if President Obama's cap-and-tax program for energy was dead for this year. But with the political and media left whacking the President for his handling of the worst spill in U.S. history, Democrats have suddenly decided that this is one more crisis that shouldn't go to waste.

Consult Mr. Obama's remarks last Wednesday about "the future we must seize" at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon. "The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future," he said. "I want you to know, the votes may not be there now, but I intend to find them in the coming months."

Nancy Pelosi forced House Democrats to walk the cap-and-tax plank last July, and the White House now plans a summer push in the Senate, where Midwest and coal-state Democrats are still leery of imposing huge new energy costs on their constituents. But Democrats won't stop merely because cap and tax is unpopular and destructive. ObamaCare was too.

As with health care, the strategy is to ram the thing through by any means necessary. Amid a revolt against government excess, and a rising liberal panic about November losses, Democrats understand that the political window for their green ambitions is closing. Without any policy concessions to the public mood, they've simply decided that they haven't done enough to convince voters how great their plans are.

Wednesday's speech was a preview of this new rhetorical campaign: The Gulf crisis will replace the artist formerly known as the climate bill. "The next generation will not be held hostage to energy sources from the last century," Mr. Obama said, throwing in some banalities about GOP narrow-mindedness and dependence on foreign oil at no extra charge. BP will play the political foil, like the insurer WellPoint did during the health-care debate.

As policy, this is a non sequitor. Cap and trade will do little or nothing to end U.S. oil dependence. It will merely make a globally traded commodity more expensive domestically. Oil consumption will naturally decline somewhat, but the reality is that there isn't a viable oil substitute-especially for the transportation that accounts for about 70% of U.S. consumption. Electric cars are years if not decades away from commercial viability, while ethanol isn't energy-dense enough to get a jet off the tarmac. Maybe hot air balloons?

Mr. Obama conceded as much in March when he bid for Republican support for a carbon tax by expanding offshore drilling. "Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs, and to keep our businesses competitive," he said, "we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy." He noted only days before the BP rig exploded that "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills."

Er, about those spills. Even if Mr. Obama's current drilling moratorium is extended ad infinitum, the U.S. will simply import more from Canada and Mexico (the main sources of "foreign oil") as well as the rest of the world, most of it with more lenient environmental regulations. At any rate, the emphasis of the Senate bill rolled out last month by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman is on emissions from coal-fired electricity. Utilities will mostly fuel-switch to natural gas, which is produced by . . . drilling.

As for the idea that cap and tax is the best way to punish BP and Big Oil, it'd be more convincing if Kerry-Lieberman hadn't been written in concert with ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and-bad-timing department-BP. "Ironically, we've been working very closely with some of these oil companies in the last months," Mr. Kerry said in early May.

The Senator from Nantucket added that "they've acted in good faith and they've worked hard with us to try to find a way to get us to a solution that meets all of our needs." Lobbyists for the three oil majors were regular visitors to Mr. Kerry's closed-door negotiations.

Democrats have also co-opted other should-be opponents, and not only in the oil industry. Corporate cap-and-tax enthusiasts include Duke Energy and most of the other utilities, as well as Honeywell, DuPont and other large corporations on the Business Roundtable. General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt captured this mentality best, as he so often does. "National policy-including an effective price on carbon and a strong, nationwide clean energy standard-is needed to drive increased investment, which in turn creates new technologies and jobs," he wrote in endorsing Kerry-Lieberman.

Like the medical-industrial complex, these businesses will soon come to rue their concessions for a seat at the table and some momentary corporate welfare. But everyone else should understand the stakes. Democrats know this is their last opportunity to control another huge chunk of the economy. Facing diminished majorities next year if not an outright loss of power on Capitol Hill, liberals are going to make one more bloody-minded charge to do for energy what they've already done for health care.

In the News... Watch/Read: Tulsa World: Contractors making changes

Tulsa World

Contractors making changes

by Robert Evatt

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

WATCH: Contractors Making Changes

Link to Article

If head-to-toe protective suits don't make it clear that workers are following the EPA's new regulations on lead paint, the copy of their certification taped a nearby wall does.

Yes, posting the certificate is one of the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, too, said Bill Powers of Powers Design and Build.

His renovation work on a home at 2443 E. 23rd St. is one of the first local implementations of a new EPA regulation that requires all homes built before 1978 under renovation by professional contractors be tested for lead paint. Crews must follow a series of safety precautions during paint removal if the property tests positive.

In fact, Powers said the EPA is encouraging renovators to err on the side of caution.

"They told us that the best thing to do is to assume there's lead and act accordingly," he said.

Although Powers and many other contractors say they're able to handle the new rule's procedural changes, it's still unclear how many have not been able to get certification yet, or how many are giving up work on older houses entirely.

Ken Saltink, president of the Remodelers Council at the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, said Tulsa finally has an official trainer who can provide certification on the lead paint rule. The trainer, Brant Pitchford, offers certification classes via the association twice monthly.

Saltink said Pitchford charges $125 per class for HBA members and $185 for non-members, but other trainers may have different fees.

"There's a real need for the classes, given the stock of older houses we have here," Saltink said.

While there were widespread complaints about a lack of trainers in the area before the rule went into effect April 22, Saltink said most of the 100-plus members of the remodelers council have gotten certification - although they mostly represent larger remodeling companies.

"The reputable ones have done all they can to become certified," he said. "If a person is established in the business, they're going to go ahead and do it. Those who are working out of the back of a truck might not."

Add in many small, part-time remodeling companies and the number who are certified could be less than 25 percent of the total, Saltink said.

Bob Curtis of the one-man company Bob's Home Repair said he has gotten certification with his frequent partner Tom Huff of Huff Home Services, but he said it's still difficult for his peers to get into the classes.

"There's a lot of small guys like Tom and I, and it would be more helpful to have more training opportunities available," he said.

Before Tulsa got a permanent trainer, local classes had to be conducted by trainers brought in from other cities.

Curtis said many smaller contractors are simply giving up work on older homes for now rather than spend the time and money for certification, or are doing jobs without certification.

"Some are sitting it out and waiting, and some quite frankly are less aware of the impact of the regulation," he said.

Powers said the EPA will levy fines of up to $37,000 per day per incident for improper lead paint removal, but that might not be enough to keep some contractors from sneaking around the rule.

"There's no consequences for the owner," he said. "They can accept a low bid from someone who won't follow the regulations."

Saltink said he's concerned that the EPA will use a heavy hand in cracking down. Although he's been told the EPA will only check for compliance through paperwork, he has noticed the agency has set up a hot line for people to call and report violations.

"The whistleblower gets a portion of what EPA collects in fines," he said. "That's very disturbing to me."

He said there have not been any fines issued to date. Then again, part of the EPA's regulations included a one-time, 60-day period during which homes whose occupants do not include pregnant women or children under 6 can opt out of the regulations.

The 60-day period expires later this month.

Powers said the owners of the home on 23rd Street have chosen to opt out of the lead paint regulation, though his company is following the rules anyway to prepare his workers.

Estimates of how much the regulations will add to renovation bills also vary. Powers said it may only add 5 percent to the cost of major renovations that involve more work than just paint removal, but 30 percent to smaller jobs heavily involved in lead paint, such as repainting or window installation.

As for the extra work, Powers said the regulations will extend the paint removal process at the house on 23rd Street from three to five days, though he estimated the company will spend six months total working on the home.

In addition to requiring disposable painter suits and plastic sheets over a room's windows and doors, the regulations call for using vacuums with filters over the exhaust, requesting that workers shower immediately after returning home, sealing trash bags containing work waste and putting adhesive tape at the entrances to pick up paint flecks.

Powers said he's supportive of the regulations, since studies indicate lead poisoning can cause a drop in IQ, learning problems and aggressiveness in children, as well as memory loss and mood shifts in adults.

"The whole thing is about containing lead," he said. "This makes the process safer for everyone involved."

Democrats Remain Divided on Cap and Trade - Reid: Please, Just Dont Call it Cap and Trade - Roll Call: Dems Want to Avoid Taking About Cap and Trade

Democrats Remain Divided on Cap and Trade - Reid: Please, Just Don't Call It "Cap and Trade" - Roll Call: Dems Want to Avoid Talking About Cap and Trade

Inhofe EPW News Roundup

The Hill: Climate Unchanged on Energy Bill - Senate Democrats remained divided over whether to bring comprehensive climate change provisions to the floor next month as part of an energy bill, even as they celebrated Thursday's defeat of a GOP resolution viewed as a test vote on global warming legislation. By a vote of 47-53, senators rejected a procedural motion - and thus shelved a resolution (S J Res 26) sponsored by Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski that would have overturned an EPA finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health and thus should be regulated under the Clean Air Act (PL 101-549)...Six Democrats joined all Republicans in supporting the measure. But the vote suggested that backers of climate change legislation probably remain a few votes short of the 60 they would need to overcome a filibuster.

David Roberts, Grist: How Did Murkowski Effect Climate Bill? "Not Much" - After an extraordinary amount of political capital spent by environmental groups and a veto threat from Obama, 53 votes was the best they could do just to defend the basics of climate science. Now NGOs and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) are out spinning it as a triumph. It's quite a spectacle: Senators who oppose congressional effort on climate voting against an agency effort to address climate because they think Congress should address climate... What does it mean for the climate and energy bill that's coming in July? Not much.

WashPost: "They're All Over the Place, Which Tells You There's No Clear Direction" - But the 47 to 53 vote showed that even in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Congress remains divided over how best to address climate change. The contentious debate, in which some lawmakers suggested federal regulation would strike a devastating blow to the economy, suggested the Senate is far from decided on whether to put a price on the industrial emissions that stem from everyday activities such as lighting a home or driving a car... "They're all over the place, which tells you there's no clear direction," said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "How many energy bills are floating around just in the Senate right now? It's very confused right now."

The Hill: Democrats Remain Divided on Cap and Trade: Rockefeller - who has long been worried about how emissions limits would affect his home-state coal industry - said some lawmakers expressed concern at the meeting about the viability of the Kerry-Lieberman plan."I think there is a dominant concern [which is] ‘What's the point of doing anything without 60 votes?'" he told reporters after the vote on the Murkowski plan. "And I think that there's some feeling that you don't spend time on the floor trying to figure out if you have got 60 votes. You have to understand before you go to the floor that you have got 60 votes."Asked if he thought Kerry's plan could get 60 votes, Rockefeller replied: "I don't think so. But I think John [Kerry] does."

Greenwire: Reid: Please, Just Don't Call It "Cap and Trade" - Senate Democratic leaders, with Obama's help, are planning to push ahead next month with floor debate on that energy and climate bill. But they still lack 60 votes for a measure that includes carbon dioxide limits and are looking toward a special caucus meeting Thursday to discuss the road ahead. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he has not decided whether the bill will entail mandatory caps on greenhouse gases or simply focus on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, energy efficiency and a nationwide standard for renewables. But Reid insisted after a visit to the White House yesterday that he wants to follow the lead of the House, which adopted a broad climate and energy proposal almost a year ago. "The House has already done their job on energy; we have to do ours in the Senate," Reid said. Reid added he favors placing mandatory greenhouse gas limits on industry, just not using the controversial "cap and trade" name that has been demonized by Republican opponents. "We don't use the word 'cap and trade,'" Reid told reporters. "That's something that's been deleted from my dictionary. Carbon pricing is the right term."

Roll Call: Dems Want to Avoid Talking About Cap and Trade - But while Democrats were eager to talk about plans for advancing energy legislation, one issue they wanted to avoid talking about was cap-and-trade. Both Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) bristled at a question about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) declaration that the House's cap-and-trade energy proposal is dead. The House passed a bill that includes the proposal last year, but the issue has stalled in the Senate. "That's not the bill that they have in the Senate," Pelosi told reporters. "They don't have a cap-and-trade bill. That's not the bill they have in the Senate." She added: "Cap-and-trade was never mentioned. That term was never mentioned" at Thursday's meeting. Hoyer sought to clarify that while McConnell has said he is against the energy tax, he has not said he is "opposed to the energy legislation per se."

CongressDaily: Effort To Stop EPA Costly Global Warming Regs Far From Over: Thursday's vote is not expected to be the end of congressional efforts to try to either delay EPA greenhouse gas regulations or at least restrict what industrial sources would be affected. Sen. John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has a proposal to put a two-year timeout on EPA regulations the agency is looking to start implementing in January. Rockefeller voted for Murkowski's resolution. One of Rockefeller's co-sponsors -- Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. -- said he expects a vote on the Rockefeller plan but is unclear on timing. Murkowski has said she would support Rockefeller as well "if there is a path forward" for it, her spokesman said. One Senate Democrat speaking on condition of anonymity said Majority Leader Reid has explicitly said there will be a vote on Rockefeller's plan.

MotherJones: Prospects for Cap and Trade Remain Dim: But very few of those voting for today's resolution have expressed much enthusiasm about the Senate passing a new law this year. While Murkowski's loss might make some folks optimistic, it still means that there are 41 Republicans and six Democrats who think that it's okay to tell the EPA that science doesn't matter, and neither does the Supreme Court.  It depends on how you want to look at it.