The U.S. House passed legislation prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, defying an Obama administration threat to veto the measure.
The legislation by Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, passed 255-172 today with 19 Democrats joining Republicans. The bill would need Senate passage and President Barack Obama’s approval to become law. Obama aides will advise a veto, the administration said in an April 5 statement.
Republican lawmakers and some Democrats say the EPA is going too far with regulations such as limits on carbon-dioxide gases. The rules were imposed by the agency to control heat- trapping emissions after Congress failed to pass climate change legislation backed by the president. EPA opponents say the regulations threaten the economy.
The measure will “permanently prevent the EPA from implementing regulations that would cost our economy billions of dollars, destroy jobs, and force American families and businessmen and women to bear ever-increasing gas and utility costs,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, said in a statement.
The Republican-led House passed its bill a day after the Democratic-controlled Senate defeated measures that would delay or prohibit the greenhouse-gas rules. An amendment by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, based on Upton’s bill, failed 50-50, with 60 votes needed. Four Democrats joined the Republicans, and Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, sided with the Democrats.
White House press secretary Jay Carney praised the Senate yesterday for rejecting an approach that he said would increase U.S. reliance on oil and deny the scientific consensus on the threat of climate change.
The House bill is H.R. 910.
--Editors: Steve Geimann, Larry Liebert
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