Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Congressman Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.), and Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) introduced a joint resolution in the House of Representatives to nullify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) finding in December 2009 that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health and therefore could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Under the Congressional Review Act of 1996, Congress has 60 legislative days to review a major rule under expedited legislative procedures and consider a resolution to disapprove of the rulemaking.
With regards to the resolution, Congressman Skelton stated:
"Congress stands in the shoes of the American people. Executive branch agencies, like EPA, carry out the laws passed by Congress.
"When Congress passed the Clean Air Act, it never gave EPA the explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of stopping global climate change. But, that is exactly what EPA has proposed to do.
"I do not agree with the EPA or the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that gave the Agency that authority. So, today, I introduced a bipartisan joint resolution to stop EPA from implementing its proposed greenhouse gas regulations that would likely be very costly to farmers, business owners, Midwestern utilities, and consumers.
"The resolution of disapproval does not stop Congress from working on important energy legislation, though I do hope it will set aside cap and trade in favor of a more scaled back bipartisan bill. My resolution does, however, keep EPA from threatening Congress with its own greenhouse gas policy as we write legislation."
In discussing the resolution, Congressman Collin Peterson, the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said:
"A few weeks ago, we introduced a bill to change the underlying law and today's bill is intended to stop the EPA's regulatory actions. We all agree that elected officials -- not bureaucrats at the EPA -- should be making the decisions about how to address our country's energy problems.
"The Clean Air Act was never meant to allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but that's what they're trying to do. The bottom line is that Congress needs to act -- we need to stop the EPA in its tracks on this and prevent them from imposing these unwarranted regulations on all of us."
And, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson also voiced her disapproval of the EPA's decision:
"Members on both sides of the aisle are committed to removing EPA's power to impose energy taxes. This is a process that should rely on the voices of the American people as reflected by their representatives, not unelected bureaucrats. I'm very encouraged by the introduction of this resolution in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to settling the cap-and-trade issue so we can assure Missouri businesses and families that the EPA will not be allowed to implement dramatic increases in the cost of energy for their employers and homes and the cost of gas for their cars and trucks."
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) have introduced an identical resolution, S.J. Res. 26, in the U.S. Senate.