Inside the Beltway

by Myron Ebell on March 12, 2011

in Blog, Features

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The House of Representatives took the first step on Thursday toward reclaiming its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  The Energy and Power (yes, that really is its name) Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and passed H. R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which is sponsored by Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.).  H. R. 910 would pre-empt EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act unless and until explicitly authorized to do so by Congress.

Actually, there was no marking up.  The Democrats opposed to the bill offered no amendments, and the bill was passed on a voice vote.  The full Committee has scheduled a mark-up of the bill next Monday and Tuesday. That means H. R. 910 could come to the House floor by early April.  There is no doubt that it will pass the House by a wide margin.  The only question is how many Democrats will end up voting for it.  My guess is that quite a few Democrats are worried about getting re-elected and will therefore vote for it.

The subcommittee meeting was one long whine by minority Democrats.  Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), the ranking Democrat on the full committee and chief sponsor of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that failed in the last Congress, said that H. R. 910 would codify science denial.  Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) chimed in that he was worried the Republicans would try to repeal the law of gravity.  Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) instead thought that Republicans were trying to repeal the first law of thermodynamics and cause children all over the world to get asthma.

Preventing asthma is now the principal reason brought forward by the global warming alarmists in Congress to cripple the U. S. economy with energy-rationing regulations.  Here is what I learned from a ninety-second internet search: “The majority of people with asthma notice that cold, dry air causes more symptoms than mild-temperature or hot, humid air.” Of course, some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists have recently found that global warming is causing a lot of cold weather.

Inslee always plays the obnoxious buffoon, but he was outdone at the subcommittee meeting by Rep. Michael Doyle (D-Penna.).  Doyle claimed that EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions would not send any jobs overseas because existing manufacturing plants would not have to apply for permits under the rules already proposed.  Only new or expanded plants have to apply for permits.  Thus only new jobs are being destroyed by EPA regulations, and no one in an existing job has anything to worry about.  I know this sounds unbelievably stupid, but this is an accurate summary of the point Doyle was making.  As the committee counsel tried to explain to Doyle, even that point is true only until EPA finishes implementing emissions rules for existing facilities.

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