A bill preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating emissions said to be the cause of global warming was presented to Republicans of Congress’ chambers. The bill, Energy Tax Prevention Act, was introduced by House Energy and the Commerce Committee chairman Representative Fred Upton. Officials said any bill obstructing the agency from dealing with the environment will be vetoed by President Barack Obama. He has promised to reduce 17% off U.S. greenhouse gases lower than 2005 levels by 2020.
House Energy and Power Subcommittee chairman and the measure’s co-sponsor, Ed Whitfield, said the EPA pursues a dramatic shift in the nation’s energy and environmental policy to send shock waves to the economy. A version of the bill was introduced in the upper chamber by climate cynic Senator James Inhofe.
In 2007, the EPA was granted greenhouse gases regulation by the Supreme Court. After EPA stated that emissions cause the public health a lot of danger, gases regulation including smokestacks and vehicles began in January.
If the bill passes Republican-dominated House, in the Senate, it is expected to gain support of industrial states Democrats who are in for rough elections during 2012. Voting against a bill that may close factories and harm jobs may be tough for some Democrats.
The Senate bill was already signed by coal-rich West Virginia’s Senator Joe Manchin. In 2010, Manchin had a TV campaign where he was seen shooting a climate bill with a rifle. Democrats Collin Peterson and Dan Boren signed onto the House bill.
Other Democrats however, are not in favor of the measure. Representative Henry Waxman said it exempts the nation’s largest polluters from regulation at the expense of public health and security.
It may be a tough fight for the legislation that needs 60 votes to get through the Senate and that Senator Jay Rockefeller’s bill which delays EPA actions for 2 years may have better chances of passing.
However, EPA regulation is welcomed by some giant power companies like NRG Energy Inc saying it ensures future power plants investments.
EPA regulation that started in January requires greenhouse gases emission permits for big industries then power plants performance standard comes next in July and emissions limitation for oil refiners in December; all these to regulate the pollution.
The bill was criticized by environmentalists which to them is more like Dirty Air Acts that allows polluters a way around carbon dioxide pollution limits. Sarah Saylor, Earthjustice legislative representative said this is going to worsen asthma and other lung diseases, increase deadly heat waves and extreme weather conditions.
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