This morning the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Upton-Inhofe bill (H.R. 910) largely along party lines, 34 to 19.
The measure, which overturns EPA's scientific finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases endanger public health and welfare and thus require regulation, will be voted by the full House in the next few weeks. It is expected to pass easily with a Republican majority.
NRDC's Pete Altman live blogged most of the markup.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced a companion bill as an amendment to an unrelated small business bill.
President Obama would likely veto the bill if it ends up passing, but Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D-WV) bill could well be passed (and not vetoed) as a more "moderate" option. That's the far-right strategy: offer a very extreme option which doesn't pass, but force Democrats into compromising, so they end up further toward the right.
Rockefeller's bill would delay EPA regulations for two years, but that's also part of their plan: move to the Right bit by bit. Read
Dave Roberts blog at Grist.
As NRDC blogger Dan Lashof rightly insists, "The reason Rockefeller and McConnell launched a sneak attack on the Clean Air Act is clear. There is broad public support for the EPA in general and limiting carbon pollution using the Clean Air Act in particular. If you are trying to pass legislation that sides with big polluters rather than your constituents, your best bet it to try to sneak it through when no one is looking."
This is a bad deal for public health. While the EPA is blocked from doing its job year after year, nothing will be done to reduce the pollution that is contributing to death, illness, and injury through more killer heat waves, increasing smog, the spread of infectious diseases, and stronger storms, floods, hurricanes and extreme weather patterns.
Republicans killed "cap and trade" legislation and now are working to kill the EPA. Meanwhile, an under-reported story is the success of the The Northeast's carbon cap-and-trade program (RGGI). It is quietly demonstrating that carbon markets work.
We recently reported that about $410 million out of the $789 million raised through auctioning carbon allowances is being spent on energy efficiency in the Northeast.
Call your Senators now at 202-224-3121 and implore them to vote against any legislation that would block the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide. Read yesterday's Action Alert.