If you've no account register here first time
User Name :
User Email :
Password :

Login Now

Shutdown Looms, As House Rejects EPA’s GHG Finding

The federal government is teetering on the edge of a shutdown today, with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas regulations one of the key points of contention in a lingering budget dispute.

Republicans want to eliminate funding that the EPA uses to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollutants. The party has been making this and other social issues, such as abortion funding, sticking points in negotiations to fund the federal government through the end of the year, NPR reports.

If the two sides cannot agree on a 2011 budget, a government shutdown will begin at midnight tonight.

In related news, yesterday the House of Representatives voted 255-172 for a bill that rejects the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. Those voting for the bill included 19 Democrats, Politico reported.

A 2007 Supreme Court ruling, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, obliged the EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide emissions endanger human health and welfare. In 2009, the EPA declared that GHGs do indeed pose that threat.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said, “The Supreme Court basically ruled that the EPA should regulate carbon dioxide,” he said. “And I totally disagree with that. That’s Congress’s job, not EPA’s job.”

The bill is not expected to pass the Senate, but its supporters say the strength of support for the measure sends a message to the Obama administration.

On Wednesday, four measures designed to restrict the EPA’s regulatory powers over greenhouse gases all failed in the Senate. But 17 Democrats broke with the president to vote for one or more measures, Politico said.

Of these, four voted for a measure that would have prohibited the EPA from regulating GHGs altogether. They were Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana,Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

Democratic leaders have indicated that they could accept almost $35 billion in spending cuts for the remainder of 2011, but say halts to environmental regulation and abortion funding are off the table. “We don’t have the time to fight over the Tea Party’s extreme social agenda,” Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) said.

But Rep. Mike Pence said, “It seems like liberals in the Senate would rather shut the government down than accept a 2 percent cut in the federal budget.”

A budget bill approved by the house in February included provisions to defund environmental regulations. Yesterday the House passed a bill that would fund federal agencies for another week. The bill includes $12 billion in additional cuts.

Pictured:  President Obama delivers a statement on the ongoing budget talks. White House photo.

Financing Environmental Resiliency and a Low-Carbon Future with Green Bonds
Sponsored By: NSF International

  
Environmental Leader Product and Project Awards 2017
Sponsored By: Environmental Leader

  
Is Energy-From-Waste Worse Than Coal?
Sponsored By: Covanta Environmental Solutions

  
Four Key Questions to Ask Before Your Next Energy Purchase
Sponsored By: EnerNOC, Inc.

  

2 thoughts on “Shutdown Looms, As House Rejects EPA’s GHG Finding

  1. I do not understand how partisan politicians know better than climate scientists, the UN IPCC, the Supreme Court, and the EPA whether climate change poses a threat to human health. If congress thinks its their job to regulate carbon pollution, then get on with the job and write legislation that works to strengthen the endangerment finding, using the Clean Air Act as a backstop. The solution is simple, a fee and dividend act that transfers taxes from good things like income to dangerous things like pollution. What conservative would not like that?

  2. They must have a stock in the companies that are emitting the pollutants and don’t want to clean up the emissions. So instead of following the Environmental Protection Agency- scientists and chemists with degrees in environmental sciences ( I am one) they would rather get paid to destroy the environment and refuse to enforce laws they have no understanding about. Anything Obama supports the Republicans and do not! All the issues that will help the average American and taxpayer; health, education, and the environment so that we can live and prosper! Not just the Republicans and members of Congress that were voted in.

Leave a Comment