EPA is a primary target in new Congress
Congress is back in session – with a new Republican majority in the House of Representatives (Democrats maintain the Senate majority) – and things are already heating up on the energy and environment front. A primary target… the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and more specifically the agency’s ability t regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The intensity of this attack, combined with its multi-pronged design calls into question the true goal (media spotlight or real change?) but are a clear sign that this issue is still a point of contention in Washington.
During the first full day in session, House members ran to the microphone to introduce three bills aimed at limiting the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases. They also shut down the Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which was established in 2006 by former House Speaker (now House Majority Leader), Nancy Pelosi. It appears that federal energy and climate actions are heading toward an uphill battle.
The three bills take distinct approaches to limiting EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas (specifically, carbon dioxide) emissions.
The first, introduced by Marsha Blackburn (a Republican from Tennessee) seeks to eliminate EPA’s ability to regulate these emissions under the Clean Air Act (against the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that said the EPA should be allowed to regulate these emissions). Blackburn has historically been vocal about her opinions regarding the EPA’s ability to regulate these gases.
The second bill, introduced by Ted Poe (a Republican from Texas) seeks to block funding from any government agency associated with a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. This could effectively tie the hands of any government organization that was tasked with administering a cap-and-trade program.
The third bill, introduced by Shelly Moore Capito (Republican from West Virginia) would delay any action by the EPA on the regulation of greenhouse gases by 2 years.
We will have to wait and see if any of these bills will be able to grab hold in the new session. But, it is clear that this issue with be a point of contention and much discussion over the next two years.