The bill would repeal the EPA’s endangerment finding for GHGs and the tailoring rule for air quality permits, and would also prohibit the agency from issuing motor vehicle standards for cars and light trucks beyond the 2012-2016 model years. The prohibition covers six major greenhouse gases as well as “any other substance” the EPA may believe bears on “possible climate change,” according to the NMA.
In a jointly issued February 3 statement, the three sponsors described their bill as “a deliberate, transparent process we hope will prevent the EPA from using regulations to impose the massive cap-and-trade tax Congress rejected last year.” Chairman Whitefield’s subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on the bill for February 9. The Republican leaders said “federal bureaucrats should not be unilaterally setting national climate change policy” that will “cost jobs, undermine the competitiveness of America’s manufacturers and, as the EPA conceded, will have no meaningful impact on climate.”
In related news, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee February 9 in defense of her agency’s regulatory agenda. Signaling the difficulty the bill may face in passing the Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) warned Congress “not to turn its back on the American people by prohibiting the EPA from doing its job to address carbon pollution.” Jackson reiterated the president would veto this legislation if necessary, a pledge echoed by the White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley.
The NMA continues to support legislative efforts to halt EPA regulation of GHGs—believing such decisions should be made by elected officials—and remains engaged in the process to advance this key objective.