A GOP-led effort to block Obama administration climate change rules passed a crucial first step Thursday, when a House subcommittee voted to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The bill, tabled by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman (and climate change turncoat) Fred Upton, would prohibit consideration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
If this wasn't so scary, it might be absurd. Here we have Congressional Republicans, backed by fossil fuel interests, overturning the scientific findings of a public health agency whose job it is to make those findings. In Grist, Dave Roberts sums it up:
[C]arbon dioxide qualifies as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. That means EPA is required to determine whether it poses a threat to public health, and if so, to regulate it. In their endangerment finding, agency scientists determined, as has the entire worldwide scientific community, that CO2 does in fact pose a serious threat to public heath (a view shared by EPA chief Lisa Jackson's Republican predecessor). EPA is thus required by law to regulate CO2.
Thankfully, this bill faces an uphill battle. Even if it gets past the Senate, Obama will likely veto it. But the fact that it's come this far sets a dangerous precedent.
Photo: Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is the man behind the bill. (AP photo via Politico)