In the House, A Resolution Disapproving EPA Power Grab

Introduced Thursday, Feb. 26, by Reps. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Collin Peterson (D-PA), and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), H. J. RES. 76, “Disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the endangerment finding and the cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.” From the joint news release, Skelton’s comment:

Congress stands in the shoes of the American people. Executive branch agencies, like EPA, carry out the laws passed by Congress.

When Congress passed the Clean Air Act, it never gave EPA the explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of stopping global climate change. But, that is exactly what EPA has proposed to do.

I do not agree with the EPA or the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that gave the Agency that authority. So, today, I introduced a bipartisan joint resolution to stop EPA from implementing its proposed greenhouse gas regulations that would likely be very costly to farmers, business owners, Midwestern utilities, and consumers.

The resolution of disapproval does not stop Congress from working on important energy legislation, though I do hope it will set aside cap and trade in favor of a more scaled back bipartisan bill. My resolution does, however, keep EPA from threatening Congress with its own greenhouse gas policy as we write legislation.

Again we see prominent Democrats — Skelton and Peterson are House committee chairmen — reasserting the proper policymaking role of Congress vis a vis an Administration of their own party. Last week, eight Senate Democrats wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson also affirming the legislative branch’s primacy.

The Sketon-Peterson-Emerson measure is a direct resolution of disapproval, as opposed to H.R. 4572, which the three members of Congress introduced in early February. That measure would have removed major greenhouse gases from regulation under the Clean Air Act while promoting biomass energy.

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