Republicans Aim to Limit the Environmental Protection Agencies Power
The Republican Party has introduced aÂ bill in the two chambers of Congress in an attempt to stop and limit the power of the Environmental Protection Agency from monitoring emissions that are linked to climate change and global warming.
The Republicans brought the bill before the chambers of CongressÂ this monthÂ and President Barack Obama is expected to veto the bill. The President remains committed to keeping his promise of reducing emissions of harmful greenhouse gases by 17% from the levels that were seen in 2005 by 2020.
Fred Upton, a representative for Michiganâs sixth congressional district and the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce introduced the bill known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act. Under the bill, the EPA would not be allowed to monitor emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States. Since 2007, the EPA has been regulation emissions after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the organization stating that greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and industries were a danger to the public. This resulted in giving the EPA jurisdiction in monitoring emission levels.
However, the legislation in the form of the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which was introduced by Upton in the House and by Senator James Inhofe in the upper chamber of Congress will stop any power that the EPA has when it comes to monitoring and taking action on greenhouse gas emissions.Â
"The EPA is pursuing a dramatic shift in our nation's energy and environmental policy that would send shock waves through our economy," said Ed Whitfield, the chair of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, a co-sponsor of the measure.
The bill is expected to be passed in the Republican dominated House before it goes before the Senate. The majority of Republicans who are behind the Energy Tax Prevention Act expect to add the support of some Democrats representing states that rely on non renewable energy sources and large industries. Senator Joe Michin who represents West Virginia an area that is well renowned for its dependence on coal has already signed up to the bill and other Democrats have also voiced their support of the Energy Tax PreventionÂ Act.
However, there are a large number of Democrats who are behind the President and believe that stopping the power of the EPA would be a backward step. It is believed that a deal suspending the EPAâs power for two years could be the most likely outcome of the fight over emissions. "It exempts the nation's largest polluters from regulation at the expense of public health and energy security," said Representative Henry Waxman, who was a co-sponsor of the climate bill that passed the House in 2009.
Environmental lobby groups have voiced their disappointment with the Energy Tax Prevention Act. "These bills are yet more Dirty Air Acts intended to give the nation's biggest polluters a way out of limits to their carbon dioxide pollution that's likely to exacerbate asthma and lung diseases by worsening smog, and increase deadly heat waves and extreme weather conditions," said Sarah Saylor, a legal representative of Earth Watch.
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