Today, U.S. Representative Collin Peterson joined House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) in introducing legislation to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, and to stop the EPA from harming the renewable fuels industry.
"I have no confidence that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without doing serious damage to our economy," Peterson said. "Americans know we're way too dependent on foreign oil and fossil fuels in this country -- and I've worked hard to develop practical solutions to that problem -- but Congress should be making these types of decisions, not unelected bureaucrats at the EPA."
The EPA recently announced in December that it would consider greenhouses gases a danger to public health, as defined by the Clean Air Act. In this circumstance, if Congress does not act the EPA will begin to regulate tailpipe emissions this April. Soon after that energy analysts expect the EPA to announce regulations for power plant emissions too.
"The Clean Air Act was not meant for this. It was meant to clean up the air, to get lead out of the air. It was not meant to fight global warming."
The Peterson-Skelton-Emerson bill would make clear that the EPA cannot regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The bill would also amend current law to stop the EPA from punishing American farmers for deforestation taking place in foreign countries, and it would broaden the definition of renewable biomass in order to strengthen our own domestic renewable fuels industry.
"This is important legislation and I'll be working hard to get it passed because if Congress doesn't do something soon, the EPA is going to impose these regulations on its own. I'm willing to consider other ideas but the bottom line is we need to do something now before the EPA does."