CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller on Wednesday lost another round in his continuing effort to block the Obama administration from beginning the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The West Virginia Democrat indicated he would continue looking for a vehicle to win approval for his proposal to delay for two years any U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on global warming gases from power stations, oil refineries and large manufacturing plants.
Rockefeller had tried to attach his delay to an unrelated bill concerning the Small Business Administration. Senators rejected his effort by a count of 88-12 in a vote on which 60 supporters were needed for approval.
"What we need is a timeout," Rockefeller said, arguing that his amendment would give the coal industry and electric utilities more time to perfect and deploy greenhouse gas controls before EPA required emissions cuts.
The Senate vote came as the House was considering a separate bill to block EPA from any action to deal with climate change.
Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley, both R-W.Va., and Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., all co-sponsored the House legislation.
In a Senate floor speech, Rockefeller sought to depict his proposal as a moderate move, compared to other legislation to permanently bar EPA from implementing any rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rockefeller said that "mature people" don't support one such measure, authored by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. That measure, which died on a 50-50 vote, was co-sponsored and voted for by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Manchin also voted in favor of Rockefeller's amendment.