For the second straight day, Republican members of the Environment and Public Works Committee failed to appear for and participate in the markup of the clean energy bill.
What’s their latest delay tactic? GOP senators are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency perform a new series of modeling runs — an analysis more extensive than EPA has done on similar legislation. But EPA Associate Administrator David McIntosh explained that the differences between the House and Senate bills would not show up in the agency’s computer modeling, leaving little impetus for conducting a new analysis for the committee. Furthermore as McIntosh stressed at yesterday’s session, re-running the models would cost American taxpayers $135,000. As The Washington Post’s editors pointed out, "shutting down the committee process to wait weeks for new analysis would dampen momentum before or after next month’s Copenhagen climate conference."
Unfortunately, that seems to be part of the GOP’s plan.
During this morning’s session, Senator James Inhofe made an appearance to read a statement explaining his Republican colleagues’ boycott of the markup. At the conclusion of his reading, Senator Arlen Specter asked Inhofe, "What is it that you want, aside from the details specific in your letter?" Inhofe curtly replied, "I don’t have to answer that question. I have that in writing."
We hope the Republican members of the EPW committee will rethink their strategy to obstruct the clean energy bill and choose to constructively engage in one of the most important issues facing our country.