House Democrats Opposed to Restricting EPA Authority Now, Supported it in 2009
House Democrats led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) have sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner opposing Republican efforts to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate “greenhouse gas” emissions.
Two years ago, however, House Democrats – again led by Waxman – voted to deny the EPA just such authority.
The bill Waxman and his Democratic colleagues oppose is H.R. 910, which was introduced by chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and has 95 co-sponsors. Debate on the bill is scheduled for Tuesday.
Waxman, the committee’s ranking member, wrote in the letter to Boehner Monday that denying the EPA the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2) and other substances blamed for climate change – would have disastrous consequences for the environment.
“We ask you to oppose efforts to undermine this landmark law,” said Waxman and 150 of his House colleagues. “In particular, EPA has responsibility, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, to take steps to curb carbon emissions using its current Clean Air Act authority.”
The lawmakers warned public health dangers could arise from not allowing the EPA to regulate CO2 – exhaled by humans and animals during respiration – and other greenhouse gases.