WASHINGTON – The White House threatened Tuesday to veto a Republican-led measure that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating certain forms of pollution.
"The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 910, which would halt the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) common-sense steps under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to protect Americans from harmful air pollution," the White House said in a statement. "H.R. 910 would also increase the Nation's dependence on oil and other fossil fuels as well as contradict the scientific consensus on climate change."
"If the President is presented with this legislation, which would seriously roll back the CAA authority, harm Americans’ health by taking away our ability to decrease carbon pollution, and undercut fuel efficiency standards that will save Americans money at the pump while decreasing our dependence on oil, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
The bill, named "The Energy Tax Prevention Act Of 2011" and sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), is poised for a vote on the House floor Wednesday. It was approved by the committee last month.
"The very last thing the federal government should do is make matters worse by intentionally driving up the cost of energy," Upton said in a statement. "Yet that is exactly what’s in store if the EPA moves forward with its plans to regulate and penalize carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act."
The measure is expected to easily pass the GOP-controlled chamber, but its prospects are uncertain in the Democratic-led Senate, where an accompanying bill has been sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).
Lampooning the fossil fuel-friendly nature of the bill, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) suggested to the Rules Committee that it be renamed the "Koch Brothers Appreciation Act," according to The Hill's Andrew Restuccia -- a reference to the energy conglomerate owned by billionaires David and Charles Koch.
Connolly also suggested such names as the "Middle Eastern Economic Development and Assistance Act," the "Head in the Sand Act," the "Protecting Americans from Polar Bears Act" and the "Oil Producing Economy Capitulation Act."