House of Representatives Faces Its Own 'Dirty Air' Act

Factory in the background on a road with wildflowers.

Sven Hagolani / Getty Images

You may have read about Senator Lisa Murkowski's efforts to stop the EPA from regulation greenhouse gas pollution: known as the 'Dirty Air' Act, the amendment would block the EPA from following the guidance of a Supreme Court ruling and prevent them from clamping down on the nation's 2,000 biggest polluting companies. Now, another attempt to halt the EPA from finally clamping down on the worst CO2 spewers has arisen--a bill has just been filed in the House of Representatives would do exactly that. Reuters reports that "two House committee chairmen have filed a bill to block the government from regulating greenhouse gases under its own power."

The two committee chairmen are Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton and Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. Perhaps Skelton was forgetting, in his capacity as Armed Services Committee chair, that the Pentagon itself has documented the dangers that climate change poses to national security.

The sponsors of the bill claim that regulating greenhouse gas pollution of the biggest polluters in the country will cripple the economy. "I have no confidence that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without doing serious damage to our economy," said Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, according to Reuters. This is far from being true--the jobs created from retrofitting polluting power plants to make them cleaner alone would number in the thousands. And the innovation and development in cleantech that a shift away from a carbon based economy would bring would grow millions more.

Of course, a more efficient solution would be to pass clean energy and jobs reform--then the EPA wouldn't need to get involved in what would potentially be a daunting, but necessarily bureaucratic slog.