An effort to prevent the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases failed yesterday when Senate supporters of a resolution of disapproval couldn't muster the necessary votes.
EPA last December issued an "endangerment finding" on greenhouse gases, determining that they are a threat to public health. Such gases purportedly are causing global warming. (The most abundant greenhouse gas: water vapor.)
It was a clever move because if the agency decides to issue draconian regulations on businesses, including pork operations, it cannot consider the costs on the public of implementing them. Generally, agencies must weigh the costs against the benefits of their proposed rules.
The problem is, EPA based its finding, in part, on information on the effects of greenhouse gases taken from a report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC has been accused of using less-than-credible data to prove the theory of global warming.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, offered a resolution -- supported by the National Pork Producers Council -- that would have prevented EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. It was defeated when only 47 senators voted in favor of it.