U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell introduced an amendment Tuesday to the pending small business bill that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency's back-door national energy tax from taking effect.
"Imposing a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices," McConnell said. "Fourteen million Americans are looking for work. Gas prices are approaching $4 a gallon. And the Obama administration wants unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to impose new regulations that will destroy even more jobs -- and drive gas prices even higher."
McConnell's amendment was originally introduced as a stand-alone bill by Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee. That bill has 43 co-sponsors including one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. In addition to Inhofe, McConnell was joined by two other senators who have taken a leadership role in the issue -- Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and John Barrasso, R-WY, Vice Chairman of the Republican Conference.
The unprecedented EPA regulations, designed to regulate carbon emissions from farmers, manufacturers and power plants, will lead to higher gasoline, grocery, electricity and natural gas prices, while stalling economic and job growth.
"These new regulations would destroy jobs at a time when Americans need them most," McConnell said. "And they'd be especially devastating for states like Kentucky and other coal states."
At a time of rising gas prices and growing concern about the scope of government, McConnell said his amendment would allow for a vote on whether the White House should be able to impose new energy regulations through the EPA.
"They're attempting to do through regulation what they couldn't do through legislation -- regardless of whether the American people want it or not," McConnell said. "This is an insult to the millions of Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet or find a job."
The McConnell amendment is identical to a bill, sponsored by Reps. Fred Upton, R-MI, and Ed Whitfield, R-KY, that is being considered in the House Energy and Commerce Committee today.