The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that even Democratic Senators-and the EPA itself-is a little uncomfortable with the potential for the agency to act on its “endangerment” finding and regulate just about all carbon-releasing entities (which will include not just coal mines and energy-intensive industries, but hospitals, schools, and other small enterprises).

The WSJ explains:

So eight senior Senate Democrats think that Congress-instead of the Environmental Protection Agency-should decide whether or not to regulate carbon. Imagine that: Policy choices that carry enormous consequences for “the workers, industries, taxpayers and economic interests of our states” should be made by duly elected representatives.

That’s how the coal-state Senators-led by Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and including Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and Michigan’s Carl Levin-put it in a recent letter to EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who is set on using clean-air laws written in the 1970s to impose the carbon limits that Congress won’t pass.

A bill is pending in the Senate that would strip the White House’s green bureaucrats of this “endangerment” authority. Last week House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson and Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton introduced a resolution that would effectively veto the EPA’s ruling. Mr. Rockefeller is drafting legislation to suspend EPA regulation for the foreseeable future, so that energy emissions can “be handled carefully and appropriately dealt with by the Congress, not in isolation by a federal environmental agency.”

It’s good news that the EPA is backing away from pushing massive, job-destroying regulation. Yet as this article explains, it seems the EPA is only limiting and postponing its actions in order to appease political winds, but it retains the right to push further if those winds shift. Let’s hope that instead of accepting this modest gesture of restraint from the EPA, Congress insists that only a legislative body can make this kind of sweeping policy change.