Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) voted against H.R. 910, legislation which amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases in order to address climate change. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 255-172, despite the fact that its companion failed in the Senate Wednesday.
"This harmful legislation in essence declares that Congress knows better than the scientific community why climate change exists, and how to best address it," Congresswoman Matsui said. "But it is irresponsible and shortsighted to prevent the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act and regulating greenhouse gases; we all know that they won't disappear on their own. If we want to stop the harmful effects of climate change, we must start acting. The U.S. should be a leader in reducing pollution levels in the world; but today's vote was a step backwards for our families, communities, and our nation as a whole."
Congresswoman Matsui has been an outspoken opponent of the legislation during consideration of it in the Energy and Commerce Committee, on which the Congresswoman serves. In Committee, Congresswoman Matsui introduced an amendment that would have prohibited the legislation's enactment pending a ruling by the EPA that climate change does not pose a risk to the U.S. economy. Congresswoman Matsui also joined more than 150 other House Democrats in sending a letter to House Speaker John Boehner earlier this week, urging him to oppose this effort to undermine the Clean Air Act.
"Climate change -- and our failure to act on it -- is a serious threat to our economy and our ability to be competitive in coming years," Matsui said. "While China and Germany continue to move ahead of our nation in the "clean energy' race to develop the technologies of the future, the Republican majority in the House passed legislation that will hurt our economy, and cripple our growing clean energy sector. It is simply unacceptable."
"Moreover, it is shameful that 13 weeks into the new Congress, we are spending time trying to turn back the clock on regulations that protect our environment from harmful pollution instead of passing legislation to create jobs. It is even more ironic that the Republican leadership has chosen this week -- National Public Health Week -- to reverse the very laws that help protect our families from dangerous levels of pollutants."