In a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget, top House Republicans demanded the long-delayed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation for greenhouse gas pollution for very large emitters be killed. House energy committee chair Fred Upton (R-MI), former chair Joe Barton (R-TX), and energy and power subcommittee chair Ed Whitfield (R-KY) asked OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients to stay EPA’s regulation of new and modified power plants that produce more than 100,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide pollution:
We understand that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new and modified power plants through the New Source Performance Standards program. We write to request that you withhold the regulation from issuance. We are concerned about the regulation’s impact on jobs and the economy, and that it will not comply with all applicable Executive Orders, including the President’s Executive Order 13563 and its predecessor, Executive Order 12866.
“Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation,” begins Obama’s Executive Order 13563. “It must be based on the best available science.”
The EPA rule is the long-delayed result of a suit brought against the George W. Bush administration by several states in 2003, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. The Bush White House then blocked the efforts by the EPA to comply with the law, and the Obama administration has slowly rolled out a watered-down rule that won’t reach full implementation until 2016. Scientists have warned that the United States needs to rapidly reduce its carbon pollution no later than 2015 for human civilization to have a reasonable shot at maintaining a safe climate, based on the best available science.
However, in the fantasy world of Upton, Barton, and Whitfield, global warming doesn’t exist — so even the EPA’s soft limits on carbon pollution are a “back door cap-and-trade regime” that will “burden struggling businesses and families,” instead of one of the most important accomplishments of Obama administration to protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.
Electric utilities are the top contributors this cycle to Upton, Barton, and Whitfield. During this campaign cycle alone, the letter’s authors have received a combined $431,550 from electric power companies.
Download the anti-climate letter from Upton, Barton, and Whitfield to the OMB.