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Hearing of the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee - "Climate Science and EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations"


Location: Washington, DC

This is our third hearing on the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

The first two focused on the adverse impact that the Environmental Protection Agency's global warming regulatory agenda would have on jobs and the economy.

We could probably have another hearing on the economic impacts, as we still have not heard from some of the many job creating sectors that consider EPA's global warming agenda to be one of if not the biggest regulatory threat they face. But the minority wanted a separate science hearing and we have agreed to their request.

In my view, holding yet another science hearing is rather excessive, given that we have held 24 such hearings in the House of Representatives over the past 4 years. In any event, I am pleased to have this diverse scientific panel today.

Science serves to inform us about the nature of a problem, and I look forward to listening to the presentations that follow. But whether one thinks the science tells us that global warming is a serious problem, a minor problem, or hardly a problem at all, the real question before this committee is whether EPA's regulations under the Clean Air Act are a wise solution to that problem. Clearly they are not.

In fact, one need not be a skeptic of global warming to be a skeptic of EPA's regulatory agenda. Case in point is EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson who warned about how complex and costly greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act would be. Of course, that was in 2009 and 2010 when the administration was trying to pass through Congress cap and trade legislation. It is only now that cap and trade is dead that the Administrator has changed her tune and emphasizes how reasonable and workable these rules will be.

In addition, Administrator Jackson has conceded that unilateral action by EPA would not make much difference, especially given the fact that China emits more greenhouse gases than the US and its rate of emissions increases has been many times larger than ours in recent years. In fact, many people might be interested in knowing that carbon emissions actually fell six percent in 2009 in the United States. Of course, the rhetoric coming from the White House is that the sky is falling and carbon emissions are going through the roof.

The number one reason for the reduction in carbon emissions is the downturn in our economy. So, it is pretty obvious that these greenhouse gas regulations will have a major impact on our economy, mainly because we don't yet have an available technology to control carbon emissions.
Thus far, only one global warming rule had been analyzed by EPA, the new motor vehicle standards. The agency has estimated that it will reduce the earth's future temperature by about one one-hundredth of a degree by the year 2100.

Keep that in mind when you hear about these scary global warming scenarios. Even if you believe every word of them, the agency's rules are no solution. In fact, they are counterproductive, because these unilateral regulations would impose an unfair disadvantage on domestic manufacturers, and chase some of those manufacturing jobs to nations like China that have no such restrictions in place and no plans to institute them. Manufacturing jobs would go overseas to countries whose emissions per unit output are considerably higher. There's no question EPA's rules are bad economic policy, but they may very well also be bad environmental policy.
The Energy Tax Prevention Act, far from being an attack on global warming science as some have suggested, is in fact a repudiation of a regulatory scheme that will only harm the American economy and destroy jobs. It is also a repudiation of the attempt by unelected bureaucrats to bypass the will of Congress.

HR 910 is not about global warming science, it is about stopping regulations certain to do more harm than good, regardless of how one interprets the science. It is about a dangerous and job destroying attempt to transform the economy in ways Congress has repeatedly rejected.

Thank you and I now recognize the Ranking Member, Mr. Rush for 5 minutes.

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