Senate Democrats call on 4 Republican EPA chiefs to help press case on climate change

WASHINGTON – Top environmental officials for four Republican presidents are telling Congress what many Republican lawmakers won’t: Action is needed on global warming.

EPA administrators for Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan said Wednesday they hoped to inject reason into a debate that is increasingly colored by politics. Some Republicans dispute the science of climate change and have worked to unravel President Barack Obama’s steps to address it.

Action on Capitol Hill, where a bipartisan energy bill couldn’t even get passed in May, has been in a deep freeze.

Their words are unlikely to change much. Coal miners packed the hearing to protest an EPA plan to cut carbon dioxide pollution from power plants. Top Republicans said the rule would kill jobs for no environmental benefit.