[US Rep. Tim] Murphy is among 95 cosponsors of House Resolution 910, the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011" being discussed in the House today. As such, he joins such devotees of reason as Michele Bachmann and Joe Barton, the guy who apologized to BP after the gulf oil spill. This is not great company to be in, especially on matters of energy policy and science.Potter says, a paragraph later:
The upshot of the bill, in fact, is to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from acting on the science of climate change. Specificially, the bill bars the agency from issuing "any regulation concerning, tak[ing] action relating to, or tak[ing] into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change." [Link to thomas.gov in original corrected]
HR 910 is, in fact, all about the power of positive thinking. It seeks to void a series of previous EPA actions, including a 2009 finding that "greenhouses gasses ... endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations." HR 910 formally deems that this finding is "repealed and shall have no legal effect."Here's the part of the legislation that voids the finding:
Poof! Problem solved! In the unlikely event this bill became law, the EPA couldn't regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, because the scientific basis for doing so would have been repealed.
(4) CERTAIN PRIOR AGENCY ACTIONS- The following rules and actions (including any supplement or revision to such rules and actions) are repealed and shall have no legal effect:And here's the summary of that December, 2009 finding:
`(B) `Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act', published at 74 Fed. Reg. 66496 (December 15, 2009).
The Administrator finds that six greenhouse gases taken in combination endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations. The Administrator also finds that the combined emissions of these greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas air pollution that endangers public health and welfare under CAA section 202(a).And this is from the overview:
These Findings are based on careful consideration of the full weight of scientific evidence and a thorough review of numerous public comments received on the Proposed Findings published April 24, 2009.
Pursuant to CAA section 202(a), the Administrator finds that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may reasonably be anticipated both to endanger public health and to endanger public welfare. Specifically, the Administrator is defining the ‘‘air pollution’’ referred to in CAA section 202(a) to be the mix of six long-lived and directly-emitted greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). In this document, these six greenhouse gases are referred to as ‘‘well-mixed greenhouse gases’’ in this document (with more precise meanings of ‘‘long lived’’ and ‘‘well mixed’’ provided in Section IV.A).This is what the House Republicans voided by majority vote.
The Administrator has determined that the body of scientific evidence compellingly supports this finding. The major assessments by the U.S. Global Climate Research Program (USGCRP), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the National Research Council (NRC) serve as the primary scientific basis supporting the Administrator’s endangerment finding.
Aye, but it's not only Republicans who are looking to overturn science by legislative fiat.
From the NYTimes:
If there was any doubt about which Democratic House members are worrying most about their re-election prospects in 2012, one only had to look at yesterday's roll call vote on the Republican bill to strip U.S. EPA of its ability to regulate greenhouse gases.Guess which conservative Democrat is among those 19?
Nineteen moderate and conservative Democrats joined 236 Republicans in supporting the bill, which was sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Not coincidentally, some had close calls during last year's Republican wave, and most are significant GOP targets in this election cycle.
Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire, who won re-election by 2 percentage points in 2010 and will either be targeted through redistricting or with a tough challenger.This is disappointing to say the least. Science is science. It simply can't be overturned by a 236 Republicans and 19 Democrats sitting in the United States House of Representatives.