Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who will become the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week, indicated Sunday that he would block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greenhouse gas regulations.
“We are not going to let this administration regulate what they’ve been unable to legislate,” Rep. Upton told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “We’re going to have early, early hearings on this. We’re going to see exactly what their analysis is on its impact on jobs.”
“There’s also something called the Congressional Review Act, that within 60 days of rules being published, Congress can take this up and with an up-or-down vote, it is filibuster-proof in the Senate,” he added.
The Congressional Review Act was enacted in 1996 and allows Congress to overrule federal regulations issued by government agencies. It has only been successfully used once.
Writing for The Wall Street Journal in an op-ed last week, Rep. Upton and Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, said the EPA’s plan to begin regulating carbon emissions from power plants was “an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs.”
“But we checked, Congressman, on your congressional web site, and you say on the web site, ‘I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions. Climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions,’” Wallace said.
“So question, is carbon a problem or isn’t it? And if it is, if you’re going to kill the EPA regulation, what is your solution?”
“We want to do this in a reasonable way,” Rep. Upton responded. “Before the end of the next decade, our country is going to need 30 to 40 more percent more electricity than we use today.”
“I don’t think that we have to regulate carbon to the degree we have a carbon tax or you have a cap-and-trade system,” he added.
The tea party group FreedomWorks launched the website “Down With Upton” because of his past support for banning incandescent light bulbs. In an email announcing the campaign, the group said that “Fred Upton has a Big Government record a mile long, and light bulbs are just the beginning.”