Republicans introduced legislation to the House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Rep Fred Upton, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the House version of the bill, called the Energy Tax Prevention Act. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the legislation to the Senate.
“The EPA’s rush to regulate greenhouse gases is nothing more than a national energy tax, and the effects will be far-reaching to businesses, consumers, and even more so to rural America,” said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK).
The EPA has begun implementing new greenhouse gas regulations and is drafting additional regulations for electric power plants and refineries.
Republicans claimed the emission regulations were nothing but a “backdoor cap-and-trade energy tax.”
“As the Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee that will review this bill in the House, I look forward to working with Chairman Upton and Senator Inhofe to move this legislation forward to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, something the Clean Air Act was never intended to do,” Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) added.
In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA had the power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Section 202 of the act requires the agency to set emission standards for “any air pollutant.”
The Energy Tax Prevention Act, which has been praised by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, would prevent the EPA from regulating emissions that are blamed for global warming.
“This House bill is yet another Dirty Air Act intended to give the nation’s biggest polluters a way out of limits to their carbon dioxide—pollution that’s likely to exacerbate asthma and lung diseases by worsening smog, and increase deadly heat waves and extreme weather conditions,” Earthjustice senior legislative representative Sarah Saylor said. “But climate change isn’t just threatening Americans’ health; It is also threatening our well-being and ability to prosper now and into the future.”
“It’s time for our elected representatives to stop acting on behalf of major polluting industries that would like to spew out their carbon dioxide pollution totally unrestrained, harming the rest of us,” Earthjustice associate legislative counsel Stephanie Maddin added. “It’s time for these polluters and their friends in Congress to get out of the way of clean air and a secure future for America.”