House passes bill to block EPA regulations

Amanda Carey Contributor
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In an end to a months-long struggle, the House voted Thursday afternoon in overwhelming favor of legislation to block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations of greenhouse gas emissions. The house vote came less than 24 hours after the Senate rejected a similar amendment.

The Energy Tax Prevention Act offered by Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, passed with a 255-172 voted, winning support from 19 Democrats. The House bill, however, faces even more opposition from the White House, as President Obama has repeatedly threatened to veto any bill that weakens the EPA’s authority.

“Today, the House stood up for American families and jobs, forcefully rejecting the administration’s relentless attempts to raise gas and energy prices,” said Fred Upton after the vote. “Our thoughtful, bipartisan solution reins in an EPA gone wild whose bureaucrats are oblivious to the nation’s economic woes and soaring unemployment.”

The House also rejected a number of amendments offered by Democrats, including one from Rep. Henry Waxman of California, who has been a leading champion of legislation like cap and trade. Waxman’s amendment would have established acceptance of man-made global warming.

“Today, we took an important step to stop EPA from acting outside of their authority in enacting regulations that would have sweeping consequences across all sectors of the economy and that would result in higher energy costs for consumers across the nation,” said Energy and Power Subcommittee chairman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky.

Despite the failure in the Senate Wednesday night, Republicans are still moving ahead with efforts to restrict the EPA, and are pointing to the fact that 64 Senators voted for at least one amendment to rein in the agency as a sign of bipartisan consensus on the issue.