The Republican environmental committee leaders said they were releasing the draft as part of "a deliberative process with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to discuss the most effective approach to stop EPA's cap and trade agenda." They said the draft legislation is based on the belief that: "(1) Congress, not EPA bureaucrats, should be in charge of setting America's climate change policy; and that, (2) A 2-year delay of EPA's cap-and-trade agenda provides no meaningful certainty for job creators, fails to protect jobs, and punts decision-making in Congress on a critically important economic issue past the voters and the election next year."
According to a release, "The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011" would: Stop EPA bureaucrats from making legislative decisions that should be made by Congress; Clarify that the Clean Air Act was not written by Congress to address climate change; Stop EPA bureaucrats from imposing a backdoor cap-and-trade tax that would make gasoline, electricity, fertilizer, and groceries more expensive for consumers; and Protect American jobs and manufacturers from overreaching EPA regulations that hinder our ability to compete with China and other countries.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, "These short-sighted attempts to roll back EPA's authority to protect air quality will do harm to clean energy jobs, energy efficiency, and our children's health. We should be working to stimulate our clean energy economy and protect public health, not protecting polluters." Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) said, "This bill goes way too far by undermining the Clean Air Act and putting politics over public health. The Supreme Court and the best climate science - some of which comes from New Mexico's national labs -- compelled the Environmental Protection Agency to act and protect health and welfare of our citizens. EPA oversight is an important responsibility and I will continue to evaluate the impact of the agency's performance." Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, "We need strong protections for the air we breathe and the water we drink. This extreme attack on the Clean Air Act protects polluters, while putting our health at risk. At a critical time when we need to be addressing climate change and impacts on public health, this assault on our environmental protections takes us in the wrong direction."
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