House Trio Moves to Block EPA

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A bipartisan trio of House members announced yesterday that they are sponsoring a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Missouri Reps. Ike Skelton (D) and Jo Ann Emerson (R) introduced the measure.

Efforts to bar the agency from following through on their determination that planet-warming emissions threaten human health are already underway in the Senate, as we’ve reported, and Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) has also introduced legislation on the subject in the House.

“I have no confidence that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without doing serious damage to our economy,” Peterson said on Tuesday. “Americans know we’re way too dependent on foreign oil and fossil fuels in this country–and I’ve worked hard to develop practical solutions to that problem–but Congress should be making these types of decisions, not unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.”

Now, Peterson, it should be noted, did vote for the House climate and energy bill last year, but only after holding the bill hostage until he could wring as much out of it for Big Ag. And after getting what he wanted, he now says he would vote against the bill if it came back to the House. So his seriousness about imposing greenhouse-gas regulations through Congress is questionable.

Skelton did vote for the House bill, while Emerson did not. But Skelton now seems to be backing off of a cap, telling ClimateWire that Congress should put aside the cap-and-trade measure and move an energy-only bill.”Let us set that bill aside and pass this scaled-back energy legislation,” he said.

Their bill would not only bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, but it would also restrict the agency from calculating land-use changes in other countries in biofuel policies and broaden the definition of renewable biomass.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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