Yet Another Bill to Block EPA’s Climate Regs


UPDATE: Looks like Upton and Inhofe have now actually released a discusssion draft of the bill. The draft is newer than the one that Markey and Waxman sent out earlier, with a time-stamp of 5:05 p.m. Feb. 2.

ORIGINAL: Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, was reportedly set to release a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing greenhouse gas regulations on Wednesday. But by 6 p.m., the bill was still nowhere to be seen—so House Democrats pushed out a draft copy of the legislation to reporters themselves.

Politico had some details last week, noting that Upton had been working with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on a bill together to introduce in both the House and Senate. This is a draft of a House bill, titled the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.” It would amend the Clean Air Act to make it state explicitly that it does not cover greenhouse gases, and would repeal the EPA’s scientific finding that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health.  It would also overrule the Supreme Court’s determination that those gases can be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The measure would also bar the EPA from setting new emissions standards for automobiles, and from granting states waivers that allow them set their own higher standards for cars and light trucks.

Inhofe is the most vocal skeptic of climate change in the Senate, so of course he doesn’t see any reason for the EPA to regulate emissions. Upton, however, has been moderate on this issue in the past, and even endorsed the premise that emissions should be cut.

Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.)—authors of the cap and trade bill that the House passed in 2009 to deal with global warming—sent the draft of the bill to reporters Wednesday evening, stating that they received a copy from “industry lobbyists.” The two Democrats panned the draft as an “assault the Clean Air Act” in a release sent to reporters Wednesday night.

“The Republicans have a lot of power, but they can’t amend the laws of nature. Gutting the Clean Air Act is only going to make our problems worse,” said Waxman in a statement. “This proposal threatens public health and energy security, and it undermines our economic recovery by creating regulatory uncertainty.”

This week certainly is shaping up to be an all-out assault on the EPA. A group of Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would delay EPA regulations for two years. And a group of Senate Republicans introduced a bill this week that would bar the EPA from acting on climate under almost every major existing environmental law.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.