February 9, 2011
Republicans took their assault on clean air to the House yesterday, as they ran EPA administrator Lisa Jackson through the ringer at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing.
With the cast of characters doing the questioning, it’s no surprise that things got heated…
Rep. Fred Upton (R) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) shamelessly introduced the “Energy Tax Prevention Act” after a closed-door meeting with a list of who’s who of big time polluters — including the American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The measure seeks to protect the profits of polluters under the guise of saving jobs.
“The Chinese government and other competitors have no intention of burdening and raising the cost of doing business for their manufacturers and energy producers the way E.P.A. plans to do here in America. Our goal should be to export goods, not jobs,” Upton sneered.
Tell that to the athletes who showed up to the Beijing Olympics in surgical masks because the air pollution was so horrific.
Is that the pollution standard you’d like to see in America?
Hell, why not adopt China’s child labor regulations while we’re at it; it would at least boost manufacturing jobs…
Meanwhile, the other sponsor is none other than Rep. Jim Inhofe, Capitol Hill’s resident climate change crackpot.
Inhofe has not only compared the EPA to the Gestapo, but has also cavalierly compared environmentalists to the Third Reich.
Jackson remained poised during the proceedings, standing by the EPA’s claim that they are responsible for regulating greenhouse gas pollution. Here’s a bit of her opening statement:
Based on the best peer-reviewed science, EPA found in 2009 that manmade greenhouse gas emissions do threaten the health and welfare of the American people. EPA is not alone in reaching that conclusion. The National Academy of Sciences has stated that there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that the climate is changing and that the changes are caused in large part by human activities.
Eighteen of America’s leading scientific societies have written that multiple lines of evidence show humans are changing the climate, that contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science, and that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and the environment.
The Upton/Inhofe legislation argues the EPA doesn’t have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
The Supreme Court begs to differ. In a 5-4 decision, the court found the EPA has the authority to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act if the agency’s scientists found that CO2 posed a public danger — which they have.
“Chairman Upton’s bill would, in its own words, repeal the scientific finding regarding greenhouse gas emissions,” Jackson added. “Politicians overruling scientists on a scientific question — that would become part of this committee’s legacy.”
If it passes, it would represent the first time in history that Congress overturned a scientific finding, Jackson noted.
Seeking to quell some of the partisan rancor, Rep. Henry Waxman (D) revealed a letter from George Bush’s EPA chief that essentially agreed with current EPA administration that greenhouse gases were indeed a public health issue.
Stephen Johnson, Bush’s EPA chief, wrote a memo to Bush in 2008 regarding findings supported by science that greenhouse gases were related to rising temperatures, and that the EPA must develop regulations on the gases.
“This bill appears to be part of a broader effort in this Congress to delay, weaken or eliminate Clean Air Act protections of the American public,” Jackson added.
As long as the big time polluters keep lining the pockets of Republican congressmen, it looks like that broad effort will keep trudging on… scientific evidence be damned.
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