Casey Responds to NRSC and WSJ Accusation
By Tom Mulkeen, Contributing Writer
Republican attacks against Senator Bob Casey’s record on energy are inaccurate and misleading, according to a spokesman for the Senator.
“These partisan attacks are factually incorrect and contradictory. Senator Casey broke from the vast majority of Senate Democrats to vote to protect Pennsylvania jobs and the environment,” Deputy Chief of Staff Larry Smar told PoliticsPA.
“Senator Casey thinks that greenhouse gas emissions pose threats to public health and the environment, but he wants to be sure that the concerns of manufacturing states like Pennsylvania are addressed — especially during an economic recovery.”
Earlier this week PoliticsPA highlighted a press release sent out by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that called attention to a Wall Street Journal editorial (paywall) that was critical of Senator Casey and a number of other moderate Senate Democrats for what it believed to be political maneuvering on the proposed amendment to take away the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases.
Casey voted for an amendment proposed by Senator Stabenow (D-MI) that would have exempted agriculture emissions from the amendment proposed by GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to not allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at all. Casey voted against the McConnell amendment, which was defeated by a 50-50 vote mostly along party lines with a few exceptions. Stabenow’s amendment was defeated 93-7. The seven senators voting yes were moderate Democrats from states where agriculture is a major industry.
Republicans argue out that the Stabenow amendment was hardly a tough vote because it had no chance of passing, supporters argue that these two votes are good examples of how Casey’s record on energy is middle-of-the-road and in PA’s interest.
Stabenow’s bill would also have delayed the EPA from being allowed to regulate non-agriculture greenhouse gas emissions for two years, presumably because the country is still climbing out of a recession and EPA actions could hurt business growth by not allowing companies to emit a certain amount of gases into the environment.
Interestingly enough, agriculture only accounts for about 9% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. according to a U.N. study although there is some disagreement about this number because there are several different ways to measure the industry of origin for such emissions.