- The House Appropriations Committee will attempt to block implementation funding for the newly proposed EPA emissions regulations, according to Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), senior members of the House Appropriations Committee with Subcommittee Chair rankings, and it is possible House Republicans will attempt to do so by blocking funding for the Interior Department and/or the EPA.
- Such a floor fight in the Republican-controlled House could bring media attention to the conservative opposition but any effort to legislate against the EPA rule would fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate, which prompted White House climate change advisor John Podesta to recently say, in anticipation of such an effort, that Republicans have a ‘‘zero percent chance” of stopping the regulations.
- The proposed EPA regulations are aimed at cutting U.S. CO2 emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 but leave it to each state to choose among any or all of four means to get emissions reductions: (1) closing coal plants, (2) building new gas plants, (3) building nuclear and renewables, and/or (4) adding demand-side efficiency.
In hopes of forcing individual House and Senate members onto the record specifically about the EPA regulations, Republicans may add the defunding of Interior and EPA as an amendment to the appropriations bill, putting coal-state House and Senate Democrats on the spot ahead of this November’s midterm elections.
Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced legislation (H.R. 4850) to block the regulations from taking effect unless other federal agencies certify they won’t cost jobs or increase electricity prices.
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) are sponsoring a bill (H.R. 4813) to block the regulations and bar EPA from proposing anything similar for at least five years without Congressional approval.