U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), today announced their support for legislation to protect the American people from higher energy costs by halting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to impose greenhouse gas regulations on industry.
The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (S.482) clarifies that the EPA does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases for climate change purposes and maintains that responsibility for climate and energy policy lies with Congress. It would effectively block the EPA from forcing new unfounded federal regulations on power plants, refineries and other industrial operations.
"The Congress should retain its prerogative to establish policies regarding climate change. I do not think the Obama administration and the EPA should work independently of Congress on these issues. I support this bill as a bid to protect industry productivity, job creation and American consumers, who will ultimately bear the cost of these EPA actions," Cochran said.
"This bill protects American jobs and manufacturers from overreaching EPA regulations that hinder our ability to compete with China and other countries," said Wicker. "EPA bureaucrats should not make legislative decisions. These decisions should be made by Congress, and the Energy Tax Prevention Act clarifies this important point."
This legislation also amends the Clean Air Act to expressly define greenhouse gases that are to be excluded from any climate change-related regulation and prohibits the EPA from collecting fines on those gases.
While stopping the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases through administrative action, the bill leaves essential provisions of the Clean Air Act intact, ensuring that the American public will continue to be protected from air pollution.
The Energy Tax Prevention Act was authored by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In all, 42 Republican Senators and one Democratic Senator are signed as original cosponsors of the legislation.