When the EPA Takes Over

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) spoke today at an American Spectator/Americans for Tax Reform newsmaker luncheon today, with Heritage Foundation blogging guests also on hand.

Boehner and 10 Republican freshmen returned this week from an energy-oriented trip to Colorado and Alaska, and today’s session concentrated on energy issues.

The leader’s arguments:

  • The majority of the public favors additional domestic energy supply, i.e. drilling.
  • Clear majorities exist in both the House and Senate for pro-supply measures. In the House, Democratic leadership therefore prevents votes on legislation. 
  • House Republicans intend to try to force votes, but it’s unclear whether the strategy will succeed.
  • Republicans also intend to make energy a campaign issue this fall.

We’ll let the partisan politics speak for itself, although yes, it does seem like pro-energy supply bills would pass if allowed to come to a straight up-and-down vote.

A good question came from Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity. Kerpen cited the EPA’s recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the regulation of greenhouse gases, alluding to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA. Kerpen asked whether Congressional policymaking on energy isn’t ultimately moot if the EPA regulates carbon dioxide under the 1970 Clean Air Act, and whether Congress might respond in some fashion, perhaps a rider on the continuing resolution. 


First you have to remember that the Democrats control the Congress, and you’ve seen their willingness to give us an opportunity to amend their appropriations bills, or for that matter, almost any bill.

If I had my way I would make it clear that CO2 is not the enemy, because under that court ruling, we’d have Fish & Wildlife Service and EPA in charge of every CO2 permit in America. I think it’s going to become very evident by this time next year in Congress that if they haven’t acted, they’re going to have to act. But I see no evidence on the part of the Democrat majority in the House and Senate to address the issue.

Kerpen wrote a column highlighting the regulatory implications (dangers) of the EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, “The EPA’s Blueprint for Disaster.”

UPDATE: (4:20 p.m.) A good, brief account of today’s session from David Weigel at Reason.


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