Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Senator, Pat Toomey, is trying to head off some of the big environmental promises that a few Democratic Presidential candidates are making.
He’s spearheading a resolution aimed at keeping future presidents from banning fracking.
Toomey announced the measure in Harrisburg Friday, standing next to a poster-sized tweet from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
She and other leading candidates, like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, say if elected they’ll impose a total fracking ban in the name of meeting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. Drilling for shale gas is a major industry in western and north-central Pennsylvania.
“I fear they might declare a national emergency of some sort and pretend that that gives them the authority to do this,” Toomey said. “I don’t believe for a minute that it does.”
Toomey said his proposal doesn’t exactly prohibit future presidents from banning fracking—it’s intended to set a precedent that congress can use to challenge a ban in court.
He’s also backing a bill that would amend the Clean Water Act to keep governors—like New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo—from using one of its provisions to block interstate pipelines.
He conceded, neither is likely to get brought up in the Democratic-controlled House.