Upton, Whitfield, Inhofe release plan to block EPA

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released his long-awaited draft of legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations on carbon Wednesday evening. Upton was joined by Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, chair of the Energy and Power subcommittee, and Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in releasing the proposal.

The bill, titled the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, would permanently stop the EPA from implementing regulations to prevent climate change. It would also clarify the Clean Air Act to say it was not intended to address climate change at all, which would be a major blow to the EPA.

The EPA has claimed the Clean Air Act empowers it to regulate carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

“We firmly believe federal bureaucrats should not be unilaterally setting national climate change policy and with good reason: EPA’s cap-and-trade tax agenda will cost jobs, undermine the competitiveness of America’s manufacturers, and, as EPA has conceded, will have no meaningful impact on climate,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

“We look forward to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the Obama Administration, to pass and sign into law legislation that stops EPA, puts Congress in charge, and helps get our economy growing again.”

The legislation is the latest in a series of proposals that have been floated on Capitol Hill recently to deal with the EPA unilaterally implementing regulations to fight climate change. Last week, Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming released a bill that would prevent any federal agency from regulating greenhouse gases without direct authorization from Congress.

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia also proposed more moderate legislation that would delay implementation of the regulations for two years.

Upton’s bill comes on the same day that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson reiterated President Obama’s threat to veto any legislation blocking EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gases.