KANSAS CITY, Mo.
— It’s not that Republicans don’t like the EPA’s rule that would ban polluting industries from drilling in state waters.
But if the EPA rule comes to pass, Republicans will have a lot of work ahead of them.
The rule would require oil and gas producers to comply with a series of standards to protect the state’s water and air, including limiting the amount of pollution they can dump in a particular area.
In addition, the rule would force the EPA to require all oil and natural gas production facilities to be in compliance with certain environmental standards, such as water quality.
That’s why the Kansas Senate passed a bill Monday that would prevent the state from implementing the rule.
“This bill would prohibit the state of Kansas from implementing or enforcing any rule that will result in a violation of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Endangered Species Act,” Sen. Jim Hightower, R-Kansas City, said in a statement.
The bill, which passed in the Senate on Monday, was introduced by state Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Kansas.
The House approved the bill on Tuesday, but the Senate will likely take up the bill and pass it again before the end of the month.
Salazar, who is the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said he’s concerned the Senate’s version would allow companies to pollute in Kansas without having to prove that the pollution is in violation of state law.
“It is not a matter of fact that you have to prove a violation to get your oil and coal company in violation,” Salazar said.
“It’s a matter whether the state can prove that pollution exists in the water, in the air, in some other way.
And if you’re going to be able to polluter, you have got to prove it to the EPA, not the state.”
The House bill would also prohibit the EPA from using federal funds to enforce the rule, which has been a priority for Republicans in recent years.
Salaz said he expects the Senate bill to be signed into law.
He said that because of the timing, it would not be a major legislative victory for Republicans.
“I think it’s a good bill,” Salaz said.
“The Republicans have been very supportive of the EPA.
It’s been very bipartisan.
The fact that the Democrats have been so critical of it, it’s been a big problem.
It has created the problem of trying to get a bill signed into the law, and that’s why it is not the major legislative achievement that Republicans have wanted.”
Salazar said the Senate would be moving forward with its bill after the end, and the House bill was introduced Monday.
Salazon said he has been told the bill is “highly unlikely” to become law, as it would require 60 votes in the chamber to overcome a veto by the president.
“In the event of a veto, it will have to go to the Republican-controlled Senate, and then the Republican Senate would have to make the decision on whether to approve it or not,” Salazer said.
Salazer said the bill has a number of provisions that will not affect the EPA and would have the support of the oil and oil and mining industries.
“They’re going in with the best interest of the state,” Salazon said.