With congressional action on climate legislation in doubt, two House committee chairmen have filed a bill to block the government from regulating greenhouse gases under its own power.
The lawmakers say Congress, not “unelected bureaucrats,” should set envi ronmental policy.
The Environmental Protection Agency cleared the way for regulation under air pollution laws a month ago, when it ruled that greenhouse gases endanger human health. EPA could act as early as March to offer regulations.
Efforts were being made in both chambers of Congress to derail EPA regulation. It normally takes months for Congress to agree on legislation.
Besides blocking EPA regulation of six gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, blamed for global warming, the House bill, which was filed Feb. 2, would remove two roadblocks to greater use of biofuels.
The bill, which would face a tough fight in Congress and be opposed by the president, would adopt a broad definition of biomass – including crops, trees, algae and manure – that can be used in making renewable fuels.
It also would bar EPA, when it calculates if biofuels are cleaner than petroleum, from holding U. S. fuels responsible for forest clearing and cropland expansion overseas.
“I have no confidence that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without doing serious damage to our economy,” said Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson. Peterson and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson are co-sponsors.