With the Republican majority in the House, the energy committee began its year by vetting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules issued under President Obama. The Jan. 26 hearing examined attempts by the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through Clean Air Act regulations. Although ranking member Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) defended the administration\u2019s moves to curb greenhouse gases, the focus of the new committee\u2019s hearing was on environmental protection versus job creation. \u201cI have tasked our committee members to track down burdensome regulations that choke investment and destroy jobs,\u201d stated committee chair Representative Fred Upton (R-MI). \u201cOur majority has made it clear that jobs are priority number one for the 112th Congress. We will identify these regulations, shine a light on them, and then seek repeal.\u201d \u201cI keep hearing repeated claims that regulations destroy jobs and stymie economic growth. It\u2019s a myth,\u201d said Waxman. Congress may periodically review agency rules, like those of the EPA, Cass Sunstein, information and regulatory affairs administrator for the Office of Management & Budget, told the committee. Sunstein emphasized the necessity of predictability and \u201cleast burden\u201d with agency rules. With EPA measures under scrutiny, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) gave agency staff a pep talk Jan. 25. \u201cI know that there are those who are going after this carbon pollution reduction plan. But we all know what the science says; we know what the endangerment finding says; we know that EPA is following the science and the law and EPA is protecting our people,\u201d she told agency employees. The hearing unfolded after Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) earlier this month introduced HR 97, the Free Industry Act. It would reverse a U.S. Supreme Court finding that greenhouse gases are pollutants that can be regulated under the federal Clean Air Act by specifically exempting them from the law. The measure is co-sponsored by 113 members of the House, including 12 from California.