With the rest of the nation was distracted with the news of the now-averted government shutdown- you may have missed what is easily one of the top political stories of the year. In fact, this issue could certainly rank up there with his support of the federal health care when it comes time for Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to face re-election in Montana.
Last week, the US Senate voted down a measure that would block the EPA from moving forward on new job-killing carbon dioxide emission regulations. (Yeah, I know- even when gas prices are over $4 a gallon in parts of the US)
The Wall Street Journal takes Senate Democrats to task with this editorial:
All 13 tacitly acknowledged that the EPA rule will do economic damage because they voted to limit its breadth or delay it for two years. But then they helped to kill the one bill that had the most support and would have done the most to prevent that economic damage.
We have far more respect for Jon Tester, the Montana Democrat who is running for re-election in 2012 and voted against all four bills to limit the EPA. Those votes may hurt him next year, but at least he didn’t join the cynics. As for the rest, they are today’s reason to hate politics.
Here’s what I found interesting: Senator Tester didn’t even vote for the Baucus Amendment.
Phil Kerpen, with Americans for Prosperity has more with this opinion piece at FoxNews.com: EPA’s Power Grab Continues
64 senators agreed the EPA must be stopped, but only 50 voted for the amendment that would actually stop them.
The Baucus amendment, a rubber stamp for the EPA that pretended to help small businesses and farms but was opposed by the National Federation of Independent Business and the American Farm Bureau, got just seven votes: Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tim Johnson (S. D.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Carl Levin (Mich.).
Tester’s 2012 challenger, Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) had this not-so-thinly veiled criticism for Tester:
It’s a real head-scratcher how any Senator from an agriculture and energy producing state like Montana could vote to let unelected bureaucrats raise the price of fertilizer and energy on Montanans. I’m going to work as hard as I can in the House to try and undo this damage.”
And what about this from the Montana Farm Bureau:
Montana’s agriculture producers will also be affected by increased fertilizer and gas prices, among other things. “What the EPA is doing here is absolutely devastating to the agriculture industry and the state of Montana,” said Jake Cummins, Executive Vice President of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. “Despite Congress not giving them the authority for them to proceed, they’ve just decided to ignore Congress, spit in the face of the people and do whatever the heck they want. It’s outrageous, it’s un-American, and it’s got to be stopped. I was shocked to see how Senate voted yesterday. I sincerely hope they’ll reconsider their position, because they’re going to get an earful about it back home in a big way. You just can’t claim you’re for agriculture and then you vote to let the EPA do whatever it wants to do to destroy our state’s economy.”