On 7 April 2011, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. HR 910 passed generally along party lines, with all of the chamber’s Republicans and 19 Democrats supporting the measure. The legislation, if enacted, would nullify the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision that greenhouse gases endanger public health. The Supreme Court decision is the basis for the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases.
Despite strong support in the House, the measure has little to no chance of passage in the Senate. The upper chamber rejected four amendments last week that would have permanently or temporarily removed EPA’s authority to regulate emissions. All of the amendments fell far short of the 60 vote threshold needed for approval. An amendment sponsored by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) garnered the most support with 50 votes. This amendment would have permanently removed EPA’s ability to regulate industrial emissions from stationary sources, such as power plants.
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