H.R. 910 Passed
The House passed H.R. 910 on Thursday, March 7, 2011, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, by a vote of 255-172 (19 Democrats voted for the bill and 4 Republicans did not vote). During floor debate, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) listed APPA among the organizations supporting the bill. The measure will now be referred to the Senate, where it is highly unlikely that Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer will bring it before the committee for consideration.
The legislation would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The bill amends the CAA by adding a new section 330 that: (1) expressly defines the GHGs that are to be excluded from any climate change related- regulation (e.g., CO2, methane, and water vapor); and (2) prevents the Administrator of EPA from “promulgat[ing] regulations or tak[ing] actions with respect to GHGs due to concerns about possible climate changes under the CAA.”
The measure provides three exceptions to the prohibition on EPA GHG regulatory authority. The first exception lets EPA’s emissions standards for 2012-2016 model year vehicles stand (as well the standards EPA has proposed for 2014-2018 heavy-duty engines). The second one lets EPA continue authorized federal research, development, and demonstration projects addressing climate change. The last one allows EPA to continue its work on stratospheric ozone protection and implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The bill also includes a provision that states that none of the exceptions can trigger regulatory obligations under Part C of Title I (Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program) or Title V of the CAA.
In addition, the bill explicitly overturns all prior EPA rulings with respect to GHG emissions to address climate change. The measure does not preclude state authority to adopt and enforce state regulations of GHGs, but it states that any actions states have taken to address GHG emissions under their implementation and Title V operating programs would not be federally enforceable. It also includes a Sense of the Congress that there is:
· “Established scientific concern over warming of the climate system;”
“Addressing climate change is an international issue;”
· The U.S. “has a role to play in solving global climate change matters;” and
· "Congress should fulfill that role by developing policies that do not adversely affect the American economy, energy supplies, and employment.”