April 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Senate on Wednesday rejected a bid to strip President Barack Obama of his power to regulate greenhouse gases, a move that could have thrown US efforts against climate change into chaos.

The Senate, where Obama’s Democratic Party holds a majority, voted 50-50 on a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from setting standards on greenhouse gas emissions blamed for the world’s rising temperatures.

The measure required 60 votes for passage. Four Democrats broke ranks to support the measure, while a sole Republican backed the efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Under Obama, the EPA has started a process of setting standards for emissions from fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries, the source of nearly 40 percent of US greenhouse gasses.

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