By on March 10, 2011

House Republicans took the first steps towards banning the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases, as the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved HR 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. In their statements today, Republican committee leaders cited rising gas prices and negative impacts on American businesses as the main reasons for attempting to strip the EPA of its ability to regulate emissions of

Water vapor, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Sulfur hexafluoride, Hydrofluorocarbons, Perfluorocarbon and any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to, regulation, action, or consideration under this Act to address climate change.

Intriguingly, subcomittee Chairman Ed Whitfield’s statement [PDF] names a number of industry groups who support HR910, including the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Mining Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, and the National Association of Realtors… but no auto industry group was named as a supporter of the bill (current regulation of GHGs only cover power stations and large-scale emitters). HR910 has been fast-tracked to the full Energy and Commerce Committee, which will begin hearings on Monday. According to Bloomberg, Senate Democrats are vowing to block the bill, arguing that Republicans attempts to link the bill to gas prices are misleading and that if passed, it would increase harmful pollution.

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29 Comments on “House Subcommittee Moves To Ban EPA GHG Regulation...”

  • avatar
    montgomery burns

    I hate to say this, but I’m on the Repubs side on this one. This coming from a left wing, commie, socialist, progressive Obama voter. I’m afraid we just don’t know enough about climate change to go down a very expensive, disruptive path like regulating “greenhouse gasses”.
    Is the earth becoming warmer? Yes. Do we know why? Could be many things, we don’t know enough yet to come to conclusions.

    Edit. Just want to add the earth has been warmer than now and colder than now. Why shouldn’t believe that climate should somehow be a static thing. It changes.

    • 0 avatar
      N Number

      That’s about the size of it.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sorry, but you are WRONG WRONG SO WRONG. I never react this strongly, except with this. This opinion is so destructive and short-sighted.

      I don’t know who you have been listening to, but scientists almost unanimously agree: climate change/global warming has been caused and is being caused to accelerate by the growing amount of GHG emissions in the atmosphere. This is not hard science to figure out. Nor is it hard to figure out how it has gotten there. Even the friggin UN agrees with this. This is made ever worse by the fact that carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for up to 200 years, and worse still by increasingly significant feedback loops.

      The US is the biggest producer of GHG emissions in the world, behind China (which is only because China is 4x the size population-wise). The US is also one of the highest GHG emissions producers per capita.

      You talk of economic costs? Again, studies have shown. Capitalism and free markets are designed to deal with a lot of strain, and adjust (hello economic downturn, constant change in technologies). Republicans constantly hoot about the benefits of this system, and control of GHG measures is the SAME thing. Studies have shown that controls like what the EPA is trying to do, and much more, MIGHT cost the economy as much as 5% of GDP today if implemented in any meaningful way. In 50 years? as much as 15%.

      You can’t have people defending an economic system for its ability to deal with sudden changes, and then say that it can’t deal with economic changes.


      P.S. News flash people, gas is never going to get cheaper. Constantly attempting to reduce the price of it artificially, is simply putting of the inevitable shock of not being able to drive as big, as much, as far.
      And I’m a liberal with a gas-hog crossover. Not a lefty tree-hugger.

    • 0 avatar

      Relax EChid, it’ll happen naturally.  It shouldn’t be too long before the decline in oil reserves makes you wish we could produce the level of GHG that we’re pumping out now!

    • 0 avatar

      We’re about as certain as we can be without a time machine about what causes global warming.  We’re less certain about how much and how quickly, and how effective negative feedbacks will be in slowing down the warming.  I don’t share some people’s wild optimism that they’ll totally cancel everything out (clouds are the biggest hope), though I wish it were true because I want to own a rotary engine one day and they’re not good with emissions.

      The basics are pretty simple.  We’ve known since the late 19th century that CO2, methane, NOx, and water vapor trap heat, and we’ve known for several decades that we’ve increased their atmospheric concentrations.  Water vapor has the biggest effect, but it’s short term because water ‘cycles out’ (through rain) within days.  Its concentration is a function of local weather, so it’s purely a feedback mechanism rather than a driver.  What we think happened after previous ice ages is that orbital cycles gave us more sunlight, which warmed the oceans, which released CO2 (like warm soda does), which raised the temperature slowly for several hundred years, which evaporated more H2O, which raised the temperature for several thousand years.  The negative feedback mechanisms that we know about take that long to kick in and re-freeze everything.

      I think the hardest part about the debate is discussing how much warming is happening right now.  In theory, global warming is only starting to match the amplitude of typical cycles like the sunspot cycle, or El Niño / La Niña phenomena, so you can easily pick a few years here and there that support either side, and it’s too early to see anything more conclusive.

      In any case, it won’t destroy civilization or anything like that… it’s just predicted to cause expensive problems.  Historically, we generally don’t choose to pay now for problems we’re going to have later.  So I’m not expecting any action.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, but scientists do not unanimously agree that global warming (which has happened regularly throughout history) is being driven by manmade factors. This is false.

    • 0 avatar

      I said almost unanimously agree. As in the vast majority. Their are always dissenters, and typically the small percent that dissents is portrayed as being in equal parts who don’t. Which is nice for the oil companies.
      And come on, not man made? Well, fine if you really don’t want to admit that, how about man accelerated. Changes that took hundreds and even thousands of years to happen are taking a decade.
      Anyway, back to the topic at hand. This move is simplistic, short-sighted and very harmful, both sociologically and economically.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, over 600 international scientists have gone on record as disagreeing with the hypothesis. That’s not just a mere sliver of scientists. And I thought that dissent was supposed to be good, and help us arrive at the truth? Unless, of course, the truth is rather…inconvenient.

      As for the oil companies – BP is a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. Which benefits BP, as it is also the nation’s largest producer of natural gas. Under climate change legislation, BP will benefit from subsidies to switch coal-fired powered plants to natural gas.

      So, yes, let’s definitely follow the money…the only problem is that the “other” side is hardly as pure as the driven snow. It’s therefore easier to ignore these facts, along with contradictory science and problems with research supporting the manmade theory.

  • avatar

    Sounds like political ‘because we can’ posing, without much consideration of anything else.

  • avatar

    Pander to fear and ignorance much? Cripes.

  • avatar

    The eco-scammers will have to coin a new phrase.
    ‘Greenhouse’ is where food and flowers are grown and does not sufficiently scare the rubes.
    Then they can wave their arms madly and claim to own the scientific method even though they are violating that basic principle with triumphant declarations of “the debate is over” even as they furtively try to “hide the decline” aka falsify data.

  • avatar

    What about Mars? Why regulate climate at Earth but not on other planets? And Venus is totally out of track on climate change. Why US government does not take care of the whole Solar system as a whole, why not make Sun to shine less? Why do not stop Universe from eternal expanding? If government waits too long Big freeze becomes a real possibility in not so distant (by astronomical standards) future. All Obama and his tzars need to do to regulate the concentration of Dark energy in the observable Universe.

    • 0 avatar

      Government expansion aside, it is known – but not publicized – that the other planets in the solar system are warming also, and it’s not due to Republicans and SUVs.

    • 0 avatar

      Do not forget Mars Rovers. They pollute and destroy rocks on Mars a lot and they were sent to Mars during Bush regime. On the other hand Mars Rovers comply with Obama’s commitment to 100% electric vehicle fleet on the planet. So Bush achieved Obama’s goal long before Obama expressed his desire explicitly on one of planets of Solar system. Probably Bush knew what is coming and foresaw Messiah ahead of time. It is ironic that Bush sent the all electric fleet with solar panels as a sole source of energy to Mars despite tremendous pressure from his buddies in Oil industry and Texas while Obama canceled similar program for the Moon. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to have TWO planets in Solar system with 100% electric fleet?

    • 0 avatar

      Following this kind of silly logic we should stop regulating harmful emissions of all kinds and return to the good old days of DDT and agent orange, carcinogenic air for our kids to breathe and carcinogenic soils for our kids to play in, toxic water supplies for our kids to drink while they sit on the pesticide-laden grass of their local park waiting for the nearby river to catch fire (and while we’re at it, why not put good old lead back into gasoline as well as in the paint we use in our schools, and bring asbestos and lots of other cheap ‘goodies’ back as well while we’re at it–after all, we wouldn’t want our deregulation to be unfair now, would we?).
      I’ve come to despise reading comments about climate change. It seems to bring out the very worst in what might otherwise be decent people.

    • 0 avatar

      We regulate pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act because they were known to cause problems and degrade air quality. This is a proven fact. It is not proven that global warming is being driven by manmade factors. Big difference.

    • 0 avatar

      CO2 is harmless. Thermonuclear reaction produces Solar wind which is highly radioactive. Both may cause Global warming. I think it makes more sense for government to regulate rate of thermonuclear reaction on the Sun than CO2 on Earth. And what Government is going to do when Sun eventually explodes, is there any plan for that? We need to start preparations now so future generation do not blame us that we screwed.

  • avatar

    I hear angels singing.

  • avatar

     There is no such thing as global warming, just like there is no such thing as an Obama birth certificate.

  • avatar

    More short term thinking from the government.  I guess it’s to be expected when old people keep electing old people… what do they care?

  • avatar

    First off – DDT was banned without any proof that it ever harmed anything but insects, and about a million people die each year due to malaria – but dey be ova in Aff-ri-ka so dey don’t count. Folks, they do count and I’m one old white redneck that thinks it’s more than a sin that we buy into this whole enviro -weenie bull squeez. And, this whole global warming crap is nothing but a scam – if you are to stupid to follow the money trail then you deserve to rot in hell.

    • 0 avatar

      +1000. Can’t agree more.
      Most GW proponents are either too young, incapable of critical thinking or have a memory span of a woodpecker. Many of the same GW screamers were in the new ice age bandwagon in the 70s.

    • 0 avatar

      First off – DDT was banned without any proof that it ever harmed anything but insects, and about a million people die each year due to malaria – but dey be ova in Aff-ri-ka so dey don’t count.
      DDT was never internationally banned for disease control purposes, only large scale agricultural use, and its toxic effects in wildlife are well proven.

      I’m one old white redneck
      Well, at least you got something right.

    • 0 avatar

      I always make an effort to look at these kinds of things objectively. The fact that many people have turned ‘environmental’ concerns into another marketing scam does not entail that these concerns are not legitimate. The prevalence of these marketing scams likely says more about the nature of the market than about the legitimacy of the concerns on which they rest.
      I don’t know what you people mean by ‘proof,’ but proof in science is not like the demonstrative kinds of proof found in mathematics or deductive logic. Scientific ‘proofs’ usually involve some appeal to the general weight of evidence taken overall, and if new evidence comes to light, then conclusions may be revised or the theory abandoned. In general, however, in science a conclusion doesn’t need to be demonstrative to count as a ‘proven’ scientifically. All that is needed is that the general weight evidence be sufficient to support the theory or claims being made. To use a legal analogy, the best you can generally hope for in a scientific proof is that the conclusion is supported by the general weight of evidence within a reasonable level of doubt. You will often find scientists supporting or accepting theories that they may still have some doubts about precisely because the general weight of evidence supports it, but not enough to attain the level of consensus needed to declare something to be a ‘fact.’
      In general, scientific proofs are provisional with varying degrees of confidence in the conclusion, depending on the general weight of evidence supporting them.
      As far as I can tell, there seems to be a relatively high degree of confidence among scientists that the earth is going through a period of global warming, and a lower degree of confidence regarding the extent to which this is humanly induced, but enough, nonetheless, for many scientists to conclude that humanly-induced global warming may be a real problem that we should make real efforts to address. While many people have a tendency to draw absolutist conclusions from this, on both sides of the fence (from ‘life is doomed’ to ‘global warning is a scam’ or ‘we should regulate the sun’), the real truth about global warming seems to be that if global warming is indeed humanly-induced (or humanly-accelerated), then the nature and scale of the changes that are likely to result are such that we have an obligation to future generations to do something about it now.

  • avatar

    Dumb Americans.

  • avatar


    Wow, what an ignorant comment.

    …I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
    Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period. . . .
    I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. . . .
    To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: “These results are derived with the help of a computer model.” But now large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world — increasingly, models provide the data. As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward. There can be no observational data about the year 2100. There are only model runs.

    This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynman called it a disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands.

    Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?
    ‘Aliens Cause Global Warming’
    From a lecture delivered by the late Michael Crichton at the California Institute of Technology

    AGW is religion at best, not science. The models have been wildly off, the Earth has been cooling for 15 years. So now it’s “climate change”. Why do the usual suspects support AGW? It’s about new tax revenue and special interest rent-seeking, supported for those reasons, not science or saving the planet. Like ethanol, once the stupidity happens, it is very hard to undo as the special interests protect what they gain from the public.

    The Dems were too cowardly to pass legislation to regulate GHG so they’re having the EPA do it. That’s their undoing because once the EPA acts it goes to the courts and so-called “climate science” will go on trial. That is something the AGW scammers can’t win because it’s not science, it’s politics.

    • 0 avatar

      @ thornmark
      Keep editing your AGW conspiracy post, you haven’t got to adding “redistribution” or “socialism” yet. Is fear and someone else’s straw-man all you have to offer?
      (Why are the deniers always BLIND to the possibility that the fossil fuel vested interests might want business-as-usual?)

    • 0 avatar

      thornmark, thank you for citing Michael Crichton. very excellent piece that explains very well the essence of science and how science is different from religion, alchemy and other pseudoscience like GW.  It explains why ancient Romans, Greeks and Muslims succeeded in mathematics but failed to move forward science and technology. If decisions made by society were based solely on consensus human race would still live in dark ages and extreme poverty. But thankfully Christian faith somehow instigated scientific method, something other religions and societies were not capable of. And after scientific methods came to existence no amount of pressure from consensus among pseudo-scientists or religious leaders, no amount of terrorism was able to stop scientific progress.
      Now does anyone seriously believes that new attempts from modern incarnation of pseudo-scientist,so called GW advocates, to put Genie back into bottle and stop and even reverse the progress will succeed? I can hardly believe it. Western societies may choose to commit suicide and eventually terminate themselves and follow Romans, but other cultures eventually will take their place and make commitment to continue progress and move Human race forward applying scientific methodology.

  • avatar

    denier – what a cliche

    Strawman? Even a simple person should know that regulation and taxes redistribute wealth. That’s just one reason “climate change” is losing.

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