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A bill that would gut the EPA’s authority on the issue of climate change has strong Republican support, garnering dozens of co-sponsors days after being introduced.
The bill, H.R. 637, would rewrite the Clean Air Act to clarify that the law does not grant the Environmental Protection Agency power to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant. It also states that “no Federal agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under current law.”
Additionally, the law would require the EPA to seek approval from Congress to enact a regulation that would have any negative effect on employment. And it would nullify two signature Obama-era climate policies: regulations on carbon dioixde emissions from power plants and on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) introduced the legislation last week and as of Feb. 2, it already has 110 cosponsors, including nearly every Republican from Texas. Palmer introduced similar legislation in 2015 but, despite garnering 152 cosponsors, the bill never came up for a hearing and companion legislation was never introduced in the Senate.
Palmer’s bill was assigned to four committees in the House. Staff members with three of these committees told Bloomberg BNA they have no plans as of yet to take up the bill.
To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at dSchultz@bna.com
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