EPA's Head on House Platter

By Published On: March 11, 2011

In its continuing effort to pull greenhouse gas regulatory authority from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power took up scientists' testimony on global warming March 8. Two days later, the panel advanced legislation to take away the agency's legal power. At the hearing, scientists displayed a split on climate change. A majority of subcommittee members stressed that scientists are not united that climate change is a problem the nation should address. "EPA rules are counter-productive," said subcommittee chair Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), charging that the agency's rules are "chasing manufacturing jobs to countries like China." On the witness hot seat, several scientists either defended or disavowed data on global warming. The context is that the Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), full committee chair, introduced the Energy Tax Prevention Act, H.R. 910, on March 3. That legislation revokes EPA authority for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Following the hearing on climate change science, the subcommittee March 10 marked up Upton's bill to remove EPA's legal authority over greenhouse gases. "This bill would block the Environmental Protection Agency's costly global warming regulatory agenda," stated Upton. The action followed disagreements over climate change science among House members at the earlier hearing. "Science is not settled," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). He referred to scientists who agree to global warming theory as "arrogant" and "elitist." EPA regulations are a "war on coal," Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) said. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) responded that he sees in the current Congress "a chronic anti-science syndrome." He added that if the seminal scientists Galileo, Copernicus, and Einstein were giving testimony "one of these [political] parties would not accept" their conclusions "until hell freezes over."

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