House Republicans have wasted no time in trying to amend the Clean Air Act to their liking.
Shortly after John Boehner took his gavel and new title of Speaker of the House, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced H.R. 97, which would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. Despite new calls for transparency on Capitol Hill as of the posting of this blog, no summary or text of the bill has been made available.
While an official text has yet to be posted, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy had a posting that says the proposal is “reminiscent of a similar measure she introduced in 2009 with Rep. Jerry Moran of Kansas (H.J. Res. 66).” The text of that now nearly two-year-old proposal is as straightforward as it gets. “Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency relating to endangerment and cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (74 Fed. Reg. 66496 (December 15, 2009)), and such rule shall have no force or effect.”
Blackburn’s proposal had a total of 46 co-sponsors and even included one Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District. Boren is an interesting member of the Democratic Party as he recently penned an anti-earmark op-ed with climate change denier and fellow Oklahoman Sen. James Inhofe. Boren is also one of the Democrats who voted against Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday.
As for other anti-climate actions taken in the first 48 hours of the 112th Congress, Texas’ John Carter has introduced House Joint Resolution 7, which is another disapproval resolution of EPA regulations.
All in all, this is a pretty strong start for the anti-environment wing of the Republican Party, which hasn’t even released the big guns yet. New Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), has yet to put his name on these proposals. But to be fair, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), did co-sponsor the Blackburn resolution. So I take it back: One big gun has taken a first shot against the EPA. If the first 48 hours are any indication, it looks like plenty more shots are to come.