Representatives Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) and Michael Conaway (TX-11) today filed a discharge petition for HR 391, a bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating "greenhouse gases" under the Clean Air Act.
As Congress continues its work on Cap & Trade legislation, the EPA is poised to implement an independent carbon cap system unilaterally, without authorization from Congress. The EPA system would fine "major emitters" of carbon dioxide. Those "major emitters" range from individual homes, churches, and especially farms. The impact of this EPA regulation would amount to a tax on every pig or head of cattle.
A discharge petition requires the Speaker to bring a bill to the floor for a vote when a majority of Representatives have signed the petition. "If you share our view that Congress should be the sole authority deciding if greenhouse gasses should be regulated, we urge you to sign the discharge petition," Blackburn and Conaway said in a letter to their colleagues.
Speaking on the prospect of unilateral EPA regulation, Mr. Conaway said, "As evident in the current Cap-and-Tax legislation that passed the House, it is clear that our Democrat colleagues like to raise taxes at every possible chance, but I hope that we can all agree that allowing the EPA to impose regulations and taxes on American people and businesses is absurd. It is not in our best interest to allow the EPA to form policy that will affect the interests of consumers, farmers, and small businesses without the consent of the American people who voice their concerns to their Members of Congress. As of now, the EPA is continuing to implement restrictions that will have a negative impact on our way of life, and we cannot sit idly by and watch as unelected bureaucrats at the EPA impose unnecessary taxes on American people and businesses without the consent of Congress."
"The House and Senate are debating action on carbon regulation. The energy tax they are contemplating is a terrible option, but at least it has been hammered out by elected representatives. What the EPA proposes will have the same disastrous effect on our economy, but it will be managed by unaccountable bureaucrats," Mrs. Blackburn said.