Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Republicans attack climate policies

Republicans have introduced several bills that would stop regulations to reduce pollution from factories and other sources (AP)

Republicans in the US have wasted no time in trying to block the Obama administration from acting to stem global warming.

On Thursday, their second day in power, Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced several bills that would hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with regulations to reduce heat-trapping pollution from factories and other sources that they say contributes to global warming.

The bills are part of an effort by Republicans to reverse what they consider job-killing policies of the administration. The bills, introduced by Republicans Ted Poe, Marsha Blackburn and Shelley Moore Capito, would stymie the EPA in different ways.

Poe's measure would prohibit the EPA from using any money to implement or enforce regulations to impose a limit on global warming gases. Blackburn's bill would change the Clean Air Act so the EPA could no longer use the law to control greenhouse gases.

A 2007 Supreme Court decision said the EPA had the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other global warming gases under the statute.

Capito's measure would delay for two years any effort by the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

In a statement, Capito called the EPA's actions a power grab that would have devastating effects on the US economy.

"Without congressional action to say otherwise, the EPA will continue to dismantle energy and manufacturing industries through regulation," she said.

Meanwhile, a top Democrat in the Senate on environmental issues, Barbara Boxer, said she would use every tool to block the Republicans' efforts and ensure that the EPA was allowed to follow the law.

A bill that would have placed a limit on heat-trapping gases died in the Senate last year, after it passed the then Democratic-led House. Boxer said there were no plans to pursue another one because there are not enough votes.

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