Yesterday, a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted in favor of a bill that would prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, sponsored by Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), will now go to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), a vocal and long-standing climate skeptic.
Representative Upton's bill has approximately 40 cosponsors and will likely have broad support from Republicans in the GOP-controlled House, as well the support of some Democrats from oil and coal producing states. However, it could have a more difficult time in the Senate and would almost certainly be vetoed by President Obama. It seems unlikely that the bill could secure the two-thirds support required to overcome a presidential veto, especially in the Senate.
EPA began regulating GHGs in January of this year by requiring large emitters, including power plants, refineries, and cement producers; to address GHGs in obtaining or renewing their permits.