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Skelton, Emerson try to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions
Skelton, Emerson try to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 2, 2010) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Congressman Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn. and Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee), and Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) will introduce legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the authority of the Clean Air Act and to change federal law to strengthen America’s renewable fuels industry.

Congressman Skelton unveiled his legislation at the Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative State Legislative Conference in Jefferson City. While discussing the bill, Congressman Skelton stated:

“Simply put, we cannot tolerate turning over the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions to unelected bureaucrats at EPA. America’s energy and environmental policies should be set by Congress.

“It appears the clean energy bill moving through Congress is stalled. Let us set that bill aside and pass this scaled-back energy legislation. This bill, which represents a responsible way to move forward on energy legislation, gets the EPA under control, provides good things for American farmers, and builds upon bipartisan objectives that will help curb climate change and make our nation more energy independent.”

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, also concerned about the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gasses, stated during her address to the Cooperative:

“Cap-and-Trade energy taxes would be devastating for Missouri and the nation. But even if Congress shelves its plan to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency still may issue regulations that would impose a grave burden on our families and businesses. We have a stark difference of opinion about the best way to encourage domestic production of renewable energy while keeping stable supplies and prices of fuel and electricity available to U.S. consumers and businesses. This legislation is a guarantee that the EPA will not use its rapidly-expanding powers to enact policies which members of Congress know will create untold hardships in the rest of the country, especially in Missouri.”

Reps. Skelton and Emerson were joined by representatives of Missouri’s Rural Electric Cooperatives, Missouri's Municipal Utilities, the Missouri Corn Growers, and the Missouri Soybean Association, among others.

Although not present, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, also cited the aggressive nature of EPA as the primary reason for supporting this bill:

“I have no confidence that EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without severe harm to all taxpayers. Americans know we’re way too dependent on foreign oil and fossil fuels in this country — and I’ve worked hard to develop real solutions to that problem—but elected officials should be making these types of decisions, not unelected bureaucrats at the EPA. I’m proud to help sponsor this bill because if Congress doesn’t do something soon, the EPA is going to cram these regulations through all on their own.”

The Skelton-Peterson-Emerson bill would amend the Clean Air Act to make clear it does not allow for regulation of greenhouse gases as it relates to global climate change, would amend the 2007 Energy Bill to stop EPA from calculating land use changes in foreign countries in determining American renewable fuels policy, and would broaden the definition of renewable biomass to strengthen the American biofuels industry.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.

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