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Environmentalists Are Terrified Of A Republican Congress

Environmental activists fear what a Republican Congress could do to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations across the country.

If Republicans take back the Senate and keep the House, they worry Congress will block the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse emissions, and get rid of other policies by attaching them to larger bills, reports The Hill.

A Republican Senate would be an “environmental nightmare,” Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told The Hill. “[The House is] a wholly-owned subsidiary right now of the polluting industries, and they’re going to do what they’re told.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to fight the EPA’s ability to enforce the Clean Air Act, which allows the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. He said recently on the Senate floor the EPA has cost the Kentucky coal industry 7,000 jobs.

“Americans have seen a barrage of regulations and red tape from the president’s Environmental Protection Agency, strangling the coal industry, one of my home state’s most important sources of jobs and economic development,” McConnell said according to The Hill.

Ben Schreiber, director of the climate program at Friends of the Earth told The Hill a repeal of the Clean Air Act would be his worst nightmare, but is unlikely. “It is much more the painful whittling away” of regulations that is a threat.

Some activists trust President Obama will use his veto appropriately if Republicans do pass legislation harmful to EPA policy. “I think the president is going to continue to move forward and be a leader on that,” Alan Rowsome, a senior director of government affairs for the Wilderness Society, told The Hill.

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