GOP plans on reining in the EPA
Between screaming birthers, edited Constitutions and not-yet members of the House voting, the House of Representatives under GOP rule got off with some fits and starts.
However, there was something of note besides the mostly symbolic attempt to repeal ObamaCare (something that the CBO says would “cost” us about 230 billion – well at least until they further revise it down to nothing after it fails), something of actual importance seems to be emerging:
Dozens of Republicans used the opening day of the new Congress on Wednesday to introduce legislation that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions.
48 Republicans and one Democrat (Boren- OK) are co-sponsoring the effort (that one Democrat makes it a “bi-partisan” effort under the definition of the term last Congressional session /sarc). Read the next part carefully:
The bill would amend the Clean Air Act to declare that greenhouse gases are not subject to the law, according to a brief description in the Congressional Record.
What that’s not saying is “greenhouse gases are not subject to the law” – it is saying greenhouse gases are not something that the Clean Air act has the jurisdiction to legislate. What Congress is trying to say to the EPA is “you stay out of the greenhouse gas business until we pass a law authorizing you to be in it”.
This is actually good news for the taxpayer. If passed it will prevent EPA from unilaterally imposing emissions standards and defacto taxes on emitters via fines and fees. The EPA’s primary targets would have been large emitters like power companies. And any “fees” charged would have gone directly to power customers. Effect? It would have hit those who can afford it least the hardest.
Of course, the other good news is the incoming GOP majority is less enthralled with the pseudo-science of climate change and thus less likely to impose economic penalties than was the former Congress. So we should see some backing away from the former trend of trying to tie energy and climate change together. Or as the Hill notes:
While GOP leadership’s specific legislative approach to attacking EPA remains to be seen, the quick introduction signals that blocking climate rules is plainly on the agenda for the new GOP majority.
That gets a hearty “good” from me.
This also signals – or at least I hope it does – some intent on the part of the House to do some regulatory oversight. You know, actually make the bureaucrats justify their regulations and their existence. If you want an area that is fat for reduction, many of the bureaucracies are a wonderful place to start.