Republicans Introduce Bill to Permanently Block EPA Authority

We knew it was coming.

Republicans on Thursday introduced a bill that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. 

Representative Fred Upton, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the bill–called the Energy Tax Prevention Act–in the House. Senator James Inhofe introduced the bill in the Senate.

President Obama has promised to veto any such bill that reaches his desk.

The bill is sure to pass in the House, where Republicans hold a solid majority. But it’s unlikely to clear the Senate, even though Senate Democrats cannot expect to hold the party line on the issue. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, is one of a few Democrats who have voiced support for blocking EPA regulations at least in the near term. And the coal state’s other Senator, former Governor Joe Manchin, notoriously shot a copy of a climate bill with a rifle in a campaign add that ran last year.

The House bill has gained the support of at least two Democrat Representatives. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) told Politico that he will be co-sponsoring the legislation, and Dan Boren (D-OK) also has signed on.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity supported the bill, repeating the Republican mantra that Congress, not the EPA, should regulate greenhouse gas emissions. (The organization seems to forget that Congress was given ample opportunity to do just that, but Republicans would not come to the negotiating table.)

The Natural Resources Defense Council said the bill is bad for health and bad for the economy. “This proposal to block the EPA from updating health protections is only the latest example of an overreach by some lawmakers. They could not be more out of touch with the American people, as a panoply of recent polls demonstrate. No one who cares about our health, the health of the economy and the health of our planet should support this bill,” David Doniger, policy director of NRDC’s Climate Center, said in a statement. 

In Related News…

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey finds that a vast majority (74%) of American voters believe it is “totally acceptable” to eliminate tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

Read about it at the link below.

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