A number of proposals have been introduced in Congress to reduce or eliminate U.S. EPA's current authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. One such initiative, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), was defeated in 2010. More recent proposals have taken a variety of forms, ranging from an outright prohibition on EPA's authority to a two-year suspension of such authority with respect to stationary sources. On April 6, 2011, the Senate considered, and rejected, several amendments to a small business bill that would have limited EPA's authority.
However, on April 7, 2011, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 910, which would exclude certain greenhouse gases from the definition of "air pollutant" under the Clean Air Act. If enacted, the bill would effectively prohibit EPA from regulating greenhouse gases for climate change purposes and override the Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497. H.R. 910 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate as an amendment to the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (S.482) and as a stand-alone bill.
Some members of Congress have raised the Congressional Review Act as a way to limit EPA's authority on climate change issues. The Congressional Review Act, a part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, enables Congress to review (within 60 days) a new federal regulation and overrule it by passage of a joint resolution. Due to the 60-day time limit, however, the Act is no longer applicable to most of EPA's prior greenhouse gas actions, including the endangerment finding.
President Obama has previously indicated that he would veto any legislation that limits EPA's authority, and it is unclear whether Congress would be able to override such a veto, which would require a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.