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Four influential coal-state Democrats introduced companion bills in the House and Senate today that would block U.S. EPA from implementing any climate-related stationary source rules for two years, a timeout of sorts that they think gives Congress time to pass legislation dealing with the issue.

Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia unveiled the Senate bill, while the House measure was introduced by West Virginia’s Nick Rahall, the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, and Alan Mollohan, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who played a pivotal role in negotiations last year on the House-passed climate bill, also signed up an original co-sponsor.

Rockefeller said in a press release that his bill would give “Congress the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future. Congress, not the EPA, must be the ideal decision-maker on such a challenging issue,” he said.

“EPA regulation of greenhouse gases would be the worst outcome for the coal industry and coal-related jobs,” Boucher said. “Our bill is a responsible, achievable approach which prevents the EPA from enacting regulations that would harm coal and gives Congress time to establish a balanced program.”

The Democrats’ bills add to a growing chorus of congressional complaints about EPA’s plan to regulate for greenhouse gases.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) may push for a vote later this month on a resolution that would overturn EPA’s “endangerment” finding, a determination that opens the door to rules covering everything from cars and light trucks to power plants and other major industrial sources.

Murkowski said in a statement that Rockefeller’s bill demonstrates “further evidence of the growing, bipartisan, and bicameral resistance to EPA’s back-door climate regulations.”

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