One day into the 112th Congress, Republican lawmakers launched a legislative effort to thwart attempts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon emissions — as promised after November’s mid-term elections.

On January 6, their second day in power, House Republicans introduced three bills to reverse the EPA’s initiatives to act under the Clean Air Act. Ted Poe (R-Tx.), introduced a bill to prohibit the EPA from using any money “to implement or enforce a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.”

A measure by Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) would “amend the Clean Air Act to provide that greenhouse gases are not subject to the Act” (seeking to reverse a Supreme Court ruling in 2007 that they are). A third bill by Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) would delay for two years any actions by the EPA to curb CO2 and methane emissions using the authority of the Clean Air Act.

Early indications are that the House likely will pass some effort to halt EPA’s ongoing regulation of greenhouse gases, and most analysts anticipate the Senate — with support from some coal-state legislators including Democrats — could do the same.

A January 12 analysis by POLITICO found that “at least 56 senators — just four short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster — will most likely support measures to hamstring climate rules, and an additional eight votes may be in play this Congress.”

Robin Bravender’s piece in POLITICO suggested that the lagging economy and the potential loss of Democratic seats in the Senate in 2012 elections may conspire to threaten EPA’s efforts to regulate CO2. At that point, a potential Presidential veto may become the last hope for those hoping to see the EPA rulemaking move forward. The two-thirds votes needed to override a veto could then pose a substantial obstacle in both the House and the Senate.