House panel rejects EPA’s greenhouse gas rules

Wendy Koch
USA Today

With mostly GOP support, a U.S. House panel voted to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, a central tenet of President Obama’s climate agenda.

By a vote of 34-19, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill Tuesday that would strip the EPA of its authority under the Clean Air Act to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from power plants, oil refineries and other sources. All Republicans voted in favor, along with three Democrats: Reps. John Barrow of Georgia, Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike Ross of Arkansas. The vote follows a subcommittee’s approval last week.

GOP leaders said they’d seek approval from the full House before the Easter recess, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is adding his version of the measure to an unrelated small-business bill before the Senate. Obama has indicated he’d veto legislation to stop the EPA’s climate rules, the first of which went into effect in January.

“Make no mistake – if we allow the EPA to move forward unchecked, its actions will only drive gasoline and other energy prices higher,” panel chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said about his bill, known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. He says EPA rules would raise gas prices by boosting costs for refineries that would be passed on to consumers…

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