Archive for the '112th Congress' Category

Sen. Mark Kirk: Back from ignominy?

February 1, 2011

In June 2009, then-Rep. Mark Kirk (IL) was one of eight Republicans who shamefully voted for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. But Kirk’s days of sucking up to the greens seem to be over.

Faced with the prospect of being attacked by the greens in their campaign to scare Congress away from taking action against the EPA, Environment and Energy Daily reported today,

Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, said he is “not terribly concerned” about taking heat from green groups for his criticism of EPA action on carbon emissions. “The consensus behind the climate change bill collapsed and then further deteriorated with the personal and political collapse of Vice President [Al] Gore,” Kirk said in a brief interview last week.

Let’s hope Kirk’s votes match his Al Gore-trashing rhetoric.

Blinder tries leading the blinder?

January 31, 2011

Economist Alan Blinder is trying to hoodwink the 112th Congress into a carbon tax.

In an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, Princeton University professor and Clinton administration economic advisor called the carbon tax a “miracle cure” for our ailing economy and federal budget problems.

Blinder said his carbon tax idea would:

  • Leave decision-making in private hands;
  • Create private sector jobs;
  • “Not cost taxpayers a dime”;
  • “Reduce the federal budget deficit significantly”;
  • Reduce our trade deficit;
  • Make our economy more efficient;
  • Ameliorate global warming; and
  • Show the world that America has not lost its edge.

Blinder’s formula would be an $8 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions starting in 2013, escalating to $25 per ton by 2015 and to $200 per ton by 2040. And although the tax would be enacted now, it would start and remain at zero for 2011 and 2012.

So how does such a tax “not cost taxpayers a dime”? Just because it stays at zero for its first two years? Just because the initial tax works out, as he claims, to about 8 cents per gallon of gas?

Given that we emit about 7 billion tons of CO2 per year, only an ivory tower academic would call a $56 billion tax (in the first year alone) a free lunch for the already-squeezed. By 2015, the tax would be $123 billion and by 2025 it would be $282 billion, according to Blinder. What part of this is less than a dime?

Blinder fantasizes that the carbon tax would spur the development of so-called “clean energy. As Blinder put it, “America’s entrepreneurs and corporate executives” would “start investing right away” in “carbon-saving devices and technologies.”

Of course, these people have been “investing” in these technologies for more than 30 years to no avail. And what they’ve really been doing is investing in lobbyists to successfully capture taxpayer subsidies. What ever happened to the Recovery Act spending on renewables and “green jobs”? Or was that just an $80 billion mulligan?

I like to think of an entrepreneur as someone who creates something out of nothing. But for decades now, Blinder’s “clean energy” entrepreneurs have been turning something into nothing — at great cost to taxpayers. Blinder was an advocate of Obama’s cash-for-clunkers program. Clean energy is the new clunker.

That Blinder knows little of what he speaks is well-illustrated by his claim that, “Everyone also knows that CO2 emissions are the major cause of global climate change.” He has apparently spent too much time hanging with Princeton climate alarmist Michael Oppenheimer, and not enough time reading the editorial pages of, say, Investor’s Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal, both of which have played a key role in exposing manmade catastrophic global warming for the hoax-cum-rentseeking-orgy to which it aspires.

The recipe for jobs, economic recovery and a balanced budget is simple:

  • Reduce taxes;
  • Eliminate regulatory overkill;
  • Shrink the size of government; and
  • Encourage individualism and self-reliance, and discourage dependence on government.

America’s real entrepreneurs will takeover from there.

Wimp & Sellout Watch — No. 5

January 28, 2011

While we have high hopes that the newly empowered Republican Members of Congress will make every effort to fight the socialization of America, we are also aware that the GOP has an ignominious history of wimping- and/or selling-out, especially on environmental issues. Wimp & Sellout Watch is GreenHellBlog’s effort to spotlight the GOP’s weak links because:

In the 112th Congress, it should take more courage for GOP-ers to retreat than to advance.

Today’s update on potential wimps and sellouts to watch:

Rep. Fred Upton. Here’s yet another reason to worry about whether House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton is truly committed to blocking the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Carbon Control News reported this morning that:

… while publicly calling for a more permanent approach [to EPA regulation, … Fred Upton] would support a two-year delay. “He takes it and act [sic] like it’s medicine but really he’s happy because the last thing he wants to do is have a 2012 campaign where this is an overhang.”

The source of this comment, according to CCN, is an aide to Sen Lisa Murkowski.

If this comment is accurate, then Upton only sees the EPA controversy as a potential personal political problem, not the threat to our economy and standard of living that it is.

According to the CCN report, Murkowski believes a two-year delay in EPA regulation is too little and too late because she…

… is concerned that simply revoking EPA’s GHG authority might not be enough to address states that have changed laws or revised Clean Air Act state implementation plans (SIPs) to implement EPA GHG rules. Further, EPA has issued federal implementation plans (FIPs) to take over GHG permitting in several states. Both SIPs and FIPs are federally enforceable under the Clean Air Act and their requirements have been upheld by judges even if other laws or rules contained differing requirements.

Sen. Ron Paul. Politico reported today that,

Paul so far is at least keeping his powder dry on a “clean energy standard” that Obama highlighted in his State of the Union Tuesday night. Obama called for 80 percent of U.S. electricity to come from “clean energy” sources by 2035 – including traditional renewable sources like wind and solar but also natural gas and Republican favorites nuclear and “clean coal.”

“I need to see more about it frankly before I can comment on it,” Paul said Thursday. “Let’s think about it and look at the specific proposal.”

We didn’t know that Rand Paul needed to “see more” about energy rent-seeking to oppose it. What kind of libertarian is he? Is Washington D.C. house-breaking him?

Sen. Rob Portman. Portman made Wimp & Sellout Watch — No.2 because of concerns for his “moderate” tendencies and his close friendship with anti-nuclear NRDC activist Dan Reicher. Politico reported today that,

A Portman spokesman said in an email that he wanted to be on the energy panel “because of the potential OH jobs tied to commonsense energy legislation that would spur growth in nuclear energy … clean coal, and natural gas production.”

Not only is “clean coal” a pipedream, it implies the demonization of carbon dioxide emissions, carbon caps and rent-seeking.

Don’t forget to check out previous editions of Wimp & Sellout Watch:

  • No. 4 — Spotlighting Rep. Fred Upton.
  • No. 3 — Spotlighting Rep. Mike Simpson.
  • No. 2 — Spotlighting Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rob Portman.
  • No. 1 — Spotlighting Sens. Chuck Grassley, Rob Portman, Lindsey Graham and Scott Brown, and Rep. Fred Upton.

CFLs burn out in California?

January 19, 2011

California utility PG&E Corp. has just learned something about CFLs — they don’t work as well as touted. According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, PG&E’s $92 million rebate program for CFL usage during 2006-2008 saved 73% less energy than originally projected by PG&E:

One hitch was the compact-fluorescent burnout rate. When PG&E began its 2006-2008 program, it figured the useful life of each bulb would be 9.4 years. Now, with experience, it has cut the estimate to 6.3 years, which limits the energy savings. Field tests show higher burnout rates in certain locations, such as bathrooms and in recessed lighting. Turning them on and off a lot also appears to impair longevity. [Emphasis added]

Combined with their inherent mercurial hypocrisy, this new information should add urgency to the House effort to repeal the ban on incandescents.

Electric utilities looking for emissions deal

January 19, 2011

The ever-unscrupulous electric utility industry is once again working to bring about climate legislation.

Politico reported today that,

Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, told POLITICO that he has had informal talks about a deal for power companies with White House energy adviser Carol Browner, who brokered the closed-door car deal, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “But no in-depth discussions yet,” he said.

About a “car deal” for utilities, Politico reported Glenn English, the president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and a former Oklahoma Democratic congressman as saying,

“We may be dreaming, I don’t know.”

So as we’ve been saying, just because “cap-and-trade” is dead, that does not mean that the push for climate legislation is also dead. Such advocacy is, in fact, alive and kicking — and it’s a real threat because:

  • While congressional Republicans can be counted on to oppose “cap-and-trade,” it’s not at all clear what many will do if cap-and-trade is re-branded as, say, “clean energy” or “kumbaya energy”; and
  • Electric utilities and renewable energy interests will no doubt throw all sort of campaign cash at Republicans looking to be re-elected in 2012.

Keep in mind that the conventional wisdom in January 2009 was that cap-and-trade was a done deal given a popular new Democrat president and Democrat-controlled Congress. Nevertheless, cap-and-trade failed. Now, conventional wisdom is that nothing like cap-and-trade could ever get through a tea party-infused GOP-controlled House.

Somewhat disturbing in the Politico report is this quote from an unidentified “senior House GOP aide close to the Energy and Commerce Committee”:

“I don’t think a deal between industry, the utilities and the Obama administration that most likely would lead to higher utility prices for the American consumer is a deal that House Republicans would be comfortable with. But certainly, we’d have to take a look before making that determination.” [Emphasis added]

Stay tuned…

Wimp & Sellout Watch — No. 4

January 14, 2011

While we have high hopes that the newly empowered Republican Members of Congress will make every effort to fight the socialization of America, we are also aware that the GOP has an ignominious history of wimping- and/or selling-out, especially on environmental issues. Wimp & Sellout Watch is GreenHellBlog’s effort to spotlight the GOP’s weak links because:

In the 112th Congress, it should take more courage for GOP-ers to retreat than to advance.

Today’s update on potential wimps and sellouts to watch:

Rep. Fred Upton. As former Reagan administration official Herbert E. Meyer pointed out, “personnel is policy”:

“Back in the Reagan Administration, we had a saying that always drew sneers from the press and from the Washington establishment: “Personnel is policy.” What we meant, of course, is that to execute the President’s policies it was necessary to hire officials who supported these policies, and who would work to achieve the President’s objectives rather than to undermine them.”

Toward that end, the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has made a worrisome choice.

Greenwire reported yesterday that Upton appointed one Michael Bloomquist to be deputy general counsel to the Committee. Bloomquist’s prior employment was with Wiley Rein, a lobbying firm. Click here to view a sample lobbying report.

One of Bloomquist’s clients was America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), which Wiley Rein billed what looks to be about $360,000 during 2009-2010 for work on climate and renewable energy legislation. Although you might think that all fossil fuel companies would oppose legislation that demonizes and targets its unavoidable carbon emissions, ANGA thinks differently:

  • Although ANGA was unhappy with the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, its beef was that the bill didn’t sufficiently penalize coal users.
  • ANGA sucked up to Sens. Kerry and Boxer because they were more open to “promot[ing] natural gas as part of the climate solution.”
  • Ahead of the 2009 IPCC conference in Copenhagen, ANGA observed, “If policymakers in our nation’s Capital are serious about addressing climate change, they should encourage the increased use of… natural gas.”
  • ANGA was supportive but thought the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill inadequate;
  • ANGA cheered President Obama for pledging to reduce the federal government’s carbon footprint by 28 percent by 2020;
  • Last Earth Day, ANGA promoted “Clean Natural Gas for a Greener World Now.”
  • After Sen. Lindsey Graham bailed out of the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill, ANGA continued to support the efforts of Sens. Kerry and Lieberman.

You probably get the idea by now — ANGA badly wants climate legislation, which it views as increasing the demand for natural gas, and Bloomquist was advocating on ANGA’s behalf.

Now Bloomquist is working for Upton, who Republicans are relying on to end EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. There can be no doubt that Bloomquist’s former employer hopes Upton fails — and perhaps (certainly?) will lobbying toward that end. Then if (when?) President Obama designates natural gas as best available control technology (BACT) for electric power generation, ANGA will have succeeded beyond its wildest dreams as coal-fired power plants will then be forced to switch to natural gas on whatever schedule the EPA orders.

Also consider that ANGA recently hired Tom Hassenboehler as a vice president of policy development and legislative affairs (aka a lobbyist). Hassenboehler spent “nearly a decade on Capitol Hill, serving as Minority Counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, and as Counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In these roles, he helped develop floor strategies for the consideration of several key energy and environmental bills.”

ANGA aims to ensnarl America in greenhouse gas regulation in hopes of elevating depressed natural gas prices. Its former lobbyist now works for the wobbly Fred Upton. It has hired a key Republican Hill staffer.

Does personnel = policy? We’ll be watching.

Don’t forget to check out previous editions of Wimp & Sellout Watch:

  • No. 3 — Spotlighting Rep. Mike Simpson.
  • No. 2 — Spotlighting Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rob Portman.
  • No. 1 — Spotlighting Sens. Chuck Grassley, Rob Portman, Lindsey Graham and Scott Brown, and Rep. Fred Upton.

Wimp & Sellout Watch — No.3

January 13, 2011

While we have high hopes that the newly empowered Republican Members of Congress will make every effort to fight the socialization of America, we are also aware that the GOP has an ignominious history of wimping- and/or selling-out, especially on environmental issues. Wimp & Sellout Watch is GreenHellBlog’s effort to spotlight the GOP’s weak links because:

In the 112th Congress, it should take more courage for GOP-ers to retreat than to advance.

Today’s update on potential wimps and sellouts to watch:

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID). Last week, the new chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee said he intends to slash the agency’s funding, observing that,

“The E.P.A. is the scariest agency in the federal government, an agency run amok.”

While that sounds terrific, Simpson sounded just a tad bit too wimpy in an Environment & Energy News report yesterday:

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said the Republican takeover of Congress will ensure a debate over whether EPA has exceeded its legal authority under the Clean Air Act by moving to regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions linked to climate change. “There is a great deal of concern that the EPA is overreaching in trying to control greenhouse gases,” he said.

“And if they are, the way you bring them back is through the appropriations process, most likely. That’s the quickest way to do it,” he added.

The House approves spending bills before the Senate, and Simpson heads the House panel responsible for funding EPA each year, which puts its members in a unique position to place constraints on the agency. The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has not yet decided how it will approach delaying EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, Simpson said, but he favors attaching language to the spending bill that would put a two-year stay on the stationary source programs.

The subcommittee voted last year on a similar appropriations “rider” but defeated it by a single vote.

“I suspect that would have a better chance of being adopted in this Congress,” he said.

While Simpson said the EPA language could be attached to a continuing resolution or omnibus appropriations bill Congress must pass in March to fund the federal government for the final six months of fiscal 2011, he added that the fiscal 2012 bill is a more likely vehicle.

He acknowledged that the rider could be a tough sell in the Senate, which is still under Democratic control. Still, he said it could be effective even if it never reaches the president’s desk.

Sometimes bringing it up and debating it is enough to make the agency say, ‘Wait a minute, maybe we ought to re-examine this,'” he said. Simpson said EPA has the options of slowing implementation of its programs or of weighing their benefits with their costs to determine whether mandates will put an undue burden on communities.

“I would hope that they would slow down on this and that Congress would take it up and give them some direction on what to do,” he said. [Emphasis added]

Here are reasons to be concerned about these comments:

  • Debate? What is there to debate? The voters spoke in November. The EPA has clearly acted illegally with respect to the “tailoring rule”. Then the agency entirely ignored the implications of Climategate and its progeny in the endangerment finding. The EPA is regulating greenhouse gas emissions now. We need action now. As Al Gore might say, the debate is over.
  • No plan? Simpson’s “most likely” comment (see above quote) indicates that there is no firm plan to take action. EPA greenhouse gas regulation is perhaps the most important issue facing this Congress that it can do something about — and House leadership still has no definite plan?
  • Later rather than sooner? Why isn’t Simpson charging ahead with respect to fiscal 2011 funding? Instead he’s prepping us for delay (i.e., fiscal 2012 is “more likely”). The longer EPA regulation is allowed to proceed, the less likely it is to be halted. Other major events can intercede and distract Congress. Delay allows the greens more time to scare politicians away from taking action against the EPA.
  • Tough sell in Senate? Last we checked, the House can block agency funding all by itself. No Senate action required.
  • How naive is the GOP? Simpson thinks that Congressional debate is going to make the EPA pause to reconsider its rules. Wake up, dude. The Obama EPA will never blink on regulating greenhouse gases; it’s the Obama administration’s signature green achievement. Obama would be a one-termer for sure if it backed off as the lefties and energy rentseeking industry would surely abandon him. Moreover, the EPA has no history of backing off major initiatives. Rather, its history is one of making Republican politicians slink away in ignominious defeat.
  • Hope-a-dope. Simpson “hopes” the EPA “slows down.” Hope is for roulette. It is not a strategy.
  • GOP to pass greenhouse gas regulation? Simpson also “hopes” that Congress would give the EPA direction on how to regulate greenhouse gases. Excuse me? Cap-and-trade is one of the reasons that Simpson, not some Democrat, is chairman of his subcommittee. The only direction Congress should give the EPA is, “Stop, right now.”

Although Simpson doesn’t mention it, he seems to be hoping (again) that a court will force the EPA to stop. But as of today, there is no indication that any court will do so. Moreover, the likely litigation schedule could drag on past the 2012 elections.

Based on news accounts, oral argument in ongoing litigation could be delayed until the fall (or even later). If so, there likely will be no court decision until at least 2012. Supreme Court review could easily drag into 2013 — a decision that seems likely to again hinge on how swing-voter Anthony Kennedy feels about the EPA and global warming — remember this didn’t work out so well for us in 2007.

Once again, the longer EPA regulations stay in place, the more difficult it will be to end them. President Obama could make things even more difficult by designating natural gas as “best available control technology” (BACT) for greenhouse gases in the power sector. If he did that, the natural gas industry would flood Republican coffers with cash and EPA regulation would be cemented in place.

Simpson says the EPA is the “scariest agency” and it is “running amok.” If he means what he says, then he should take decisive action now.

Don’t forget to check out previous editions of Wimp & Sellout Watch:

  • No. 2 — Spotlighting Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rob Portman.
  • No. 1 — Spotlighting Sens. Chuck Grassley, Rob Portman, Lindsey Graham and Scott Brown, and Rep. Fred Upton.

Green backlash begins — lamely

January 11, 2011

Green groups commenced their assault on the House GOP today, accusing last week’s legislative efforts to rein in the EPA’s climate regulations as “a threat to public health.”

In condemning Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s bill (H.R. 97) to amend the Clean Air Act to exclude greenhouse gases, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) issued a media release quoting its president, Gary Cohen:

“Curtailing [the EPA’s] efforts by placing our regulatory system in a stranglehold will sentence tens of thousands of people to debilitating, respiratory illnesses, adding to the burden of chronic disease in the nation and increased financial burden to the health care system.” said Gary Cohen, president of Health Care Without Harm.

Cohen also stated,

“Greenhouse gases contribute to human morbidity and mortality in the same way that smog and soot pollution and other air toxins do…”

But consider the two graphs below. The first charts the change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the 20th century.

The second charts the change in life expectancy during the 20th century.

Note that as CO2 levels increased, so did life expectancy — the best measure of public health. Although correlation does not necessarily equate to causation, we expect that life expectancy correlates very highly with per capita CO2 emissions around the world.

Perhaps that’s why HCWH’s media release didn’t present these graphs (or anything else for that matter to back up their claims), preferring instead to stick with ad hominem attack.

BTW, what is Health Care With Harm? It describes itself as,

…an international coalition of organizations dedicated to reducing environmental damage by the health care sector.

Connoisseurs of junk science , however, know HCWH as a front group for the radical green agenda. Greenpeace, Beyond Pesticides, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Environmental Working Group, and Sierra Club are just some of its “members“.

We challenge HCWH to cite a single credible scientific study demonstrating that greenhouse gases pose any threat to human health whatsoever. We define “scientific study” to be an empirical analysis of data published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature — as opposed some conclusory book report like the EPA’s “endangerment finding.” We’ll even accept a case study of someone harmed by greenhouse gases. How hard could that be since tens of thousands have been debilitated by greenhouse gases, according to HCWH?

How about it Gary Cohen?

Bill to repeal bulb ban introduced

January 7, 2011

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced a bill to repeal the 2007 law that bans incandescent bulbs starting in 2012.

Here is Barton’s media release:

Barton leads Republican effort to repeal light bulb ban

WASHINGTON: Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, joined 12 other Republicans to reintroduced the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act or BULB Act, H.R. 91.

The BULB Act repeals Subtitle B of Title III of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which is a de facto ban on the incandescent light bulb.

“This is about more than just energy consumption, it is about personal freedom. Voters sent us a message in November that it is time for politicians and activists in Washington to stop interfering in their lives and manipulating the free market. The light bulb ban is the perfect symbol of that frustration. People don’t want congress dictating what light fixtures they can use,” said Rep. Barton. “Traditional incandescent bulbs are cheap and reliable. Alternatives, including the most common replacement Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFL’s, are more expensive and health hazards – so why force them on the American people? From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to you and your family.”

“Thousands of American jobs have been shipped overseas as a direct consequence of this light bulb provision in the Democrats’ 2007 energy bill,” Burgess said. “I have stated all along that exposing our citizens to the harmful effects of the mercury contained in CFL light bulbs, which are being manufactured in China, is likely to pose a hazard for years to come. Not only would this bill be better for the environment, but it would be one step to bringing jobs back to America.”

“These are the kinds of regulations that make the American people roll their eyes. It is typical of a ‘big Washington’ solution to a non-existent problem. In this case it manifests itself as an overreach into every American home, one that ships good jobs overseas and infuriates the American consumer,” added Rep. Blackburn.

Other co-sponsors include: Reps. Todd Akin (R-Missouri), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Paul Broun (R-Georgia), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-New York), Dan Burton (R-Indiana), Howard Coble (R-North Carolina), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Tom McClintock (R-), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), Cliff Stearns (R-Florida), and Don Young (R-Alaska).

Alternatives to traditional incandescent bulbs have many drawbacks. They are all considerably more expensive. The most common alternative, compact florescent light bulbs have a number of problems:

  • Most CFLs are not manufactured in the United States. A recent Washington Post story reported that GE is shuttering a plant in Winchester, Va., killing 200 jobs in the process.
    CFLs contain mercury and have to be disposed of carefully. The amount of mercury in one bulb is enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels. The EPA recommends an elaborate cleanup ritual, including throwing away any clothes or bedding that has come in direct contact with the mercury from the bulb.
  • CFLs are not designed to be turned off and on frequently; the lifespan of a CFL may be reduced by up to 85 percent if you switch it off and on a lot.
  • People with certain health conditions can be harmed by CFLs. Reactions range from disabling eczema-like reactions, to light sensitivities that can lead to skin cancer.
  • The Energy Star program warns that CFLs can overheat and smoke.

Don’t miss GreenHellBlog’s exclusive: EPA’s Mercurial Hypocrisy.

House GOP offers bill to block EPA climate rules (Update)

January 6, 2011

Update: The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin reports:

Three Republican House members — Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.) and Ted Poe (Tex.) have each introduced separate bills aimed at blocking EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The three measures hamstring the agency’s authority in different ways: Blackburn’s would “amend the Clean Air Act to provide that greenhouse gases are not subject to the Act,” even though the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that they are; Capito’s would delay EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and methane for two years; and Poe’s would prohibit any agency funding “to be used to implement or enforce a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.”

While Capito’s bill is the most modest of the bunch, the West Virginia lawmaker explained in a statement that she has introduced a more limited bill because she thinks it has enough votes to pass and block initiatives such as new EPA permitting requirements that now require major new greenhouse gas emitters to show how they would use the best available current technology to lower their carbon footprint.

The Hill reports,

Dozens of Republicans used the opening day of the new Congress on Wednesday to introduce legislation that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sponsored the bill. The measure’s 46 co-sponsors are all Republicans except for Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.).

Co-sponsors include Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Absent from the list at the moment: Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who is weighing his approach to stifling greenhouse-gas rules he alleges will burden the economy.

The bill would amend the Clean Air Act to declare that greenhouse gases are not subject to the law, according to a brief description in the Congressional Record…

What’s Fred Upton waiting for? Isn’t this what he said he wanted?

On the Senate side, meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Fox News yesterday,

“We are going to introduce legislation that says all regulations should sunset. If the EPA writes a regulation, it expires in six months, unless Congress votes on it and approves it.”

Let’s hope he presses hard for such legislation.