House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-MN, Rep. Ike Skelton, D-MO, and Rep. Joann Emerson, R-MO, have introduced legislation to block regulation of greenhouse gases by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Peterson said the bill is needed to prevent the agency from usurping the right of Congress to make environmental policy on global warming issues. In a news release, Peterson said:
“I have no confidence that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without doing serious damage to our economy. 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.”
The agency announced in December that it planned to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if Congress does not pass the Obama administration's cap-and-trade bill. That bill is all but dead in Conress, due to growing public opposition, so Peterson, Skelton and Emerson introduced their measure to prevent unilateral regulatory action by EPA.
According to Peterson, the trio's bill "would make clear that the EPA cannot regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The bill would also amend current law to stop the EPA from punishing American farmers for deforestation taking place in foreign countries, and it would broaden the definition of renewable biomass in order to strengthen our own domestic renewable fuels industry.
“This is important legislation and I’ll be working hard to get it passed because if Congress doesn’t do something soon, the EPA is going to impose these regulations on its own. I’m willing to consider other ideas but the bottom line is we need to do something now before the EPA does,” Peterson said.