Congressman Jim Matheson supported legislation in a House committee that will restore the proper relationship between Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when it comes to addressing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that are contributing to global climate change. Matheson successfully amended the bill to say science has clearly established the need for concern and that the U.S. has a global role to play in dealing with climate change.
The energy bill--HR 910--was approved in the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a bipartisan vote and now moves to the full House of Representatives.
"This bill is not a debate on whether climate change exists, nor is it about preventing policies from being implemented that reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Matheson. "This is about restoring the legislative authority to Congress, and prohibiting a regulatory agency from implementing policy without the proper authority."
Matheson said during the hearing that climate change is happening and it is creating challenges for the economy, U.S. energy independence and for the environment that must be addressed. Matheson said he believes that a customized solution is neither possible nor appropriate for EPA regulators.
"Agencies should not regulate what has not been legislated. Doing so does not solve problems, but creates even more uncertainty as it opens up the agencies' rules to countless legal challenges," said Matheson. "There is bipartisan agreement that the way to address the challenge posed by GHG emissions on climate change is through Congressional action."
Matheson said he would work with members of the Committee on both sides of the aisle, the EPA and others in the Administration to find workable solutions to the climate change issues. He noted that the bill does not impede the important work of the EPA as it works with state environmental agencies under its traditional role to reduce hazardous air pollution and smog.