Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., blamed tea-party Republicans for the Environmental Protection Agency's cancellation of the first two stops of its 11-city tour to solicit public comment on an upcoming rule to limit emissions from existing power plants, The Hill reports.
Markey's comments followed an announcement by EPA last week that it is postponing planned stops in Boston and Philadelphia because of the government shutdown.
"This tea-party shutdown has shut out the public from even discussing climate change and what our government can do about it," Markey told reporters Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are pointing fingers at EPA for not holding public forums in states where the new power-plant regulations would have the most impact. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both slammed the agency for leaving stops in heavy coal-producing states off the tour.