We blogged here about Representative Fred Upton's (R-MI) bill that would repeal the EPA's finding that greenhouse gases endanger the environment. The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, as the measure is known, has now passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a 34-19 vote. The committee rejected last-minute amendments that would have put Republican supporters on record denying that human activity contributes to climate change.

On March 15, the same day as the passage of Rep. Upton's bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced an amendment to a small business bill that would also block EPA's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Senator McConnell's amendment was originally introduced as a stand-alone bill by Sen. James Inohofe (R-OK). In his press release accompanying the amendment, Senator McConnell tied EPA greenhouse gas regulation to higher gas prices. That assertion has proved contentious, with Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) taking to Senate floor on March 17 to dispute the existence of such a link.