Sen. Boxer: Opponents of EPA Climate Regulations ‘Hurting the American People’
(CNSNews.com) – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that anyone who opposes the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions was “hurting the American people.”
“Anyone who tries to stop the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act – a bipartisan landmark piece of legislation – is hurting the American people,” Boxer said at a news conference on Thursday.
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases, which Boxer described as “dangerous.”
“Carbon [dioxide] pollution is dangerous. The co-contaminants that go along with it are very dangerous,” she said.
Boxer went on to describe climate regulations, which the last Congress failed to pass, as a “life and death issue,” not a political one.
“This isn’t a political issue. It is a life and death issue,” Boxer stated. “I am saying to any politician who tries to stop the EPA from enforcing the law that they are going against the American people. Sixty-nine percent think the EPA should update the Clean Air Act standards with stricter air pollution limits.”
Boxer criticized Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, for trying to pass legislation blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Upton and other Republicans contend that while the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, it should not do so because similar regulations failed in Congress. That failure, Republicans say, amounts to congressional disapproval of regulating greenhouse gasses.
“The politicians like Mr. Upton who are writing bills [blocking EPA from regulating] are clashing with the overwhelming majority of the people,” Boxer said.
“So I’m standing here and I’m saying to any elected official here or anywhere, frankly, that when you try to stop the enforcement of the Clean Air Act you are going directly against the health of the American people,” she said.
Republicans cut $3 billion from the EPA’s budget in their 2011 long-term continuing resolution that Senate Democrats, including Sen. Boxer, defeated on Wednesday. They also attached an amendment to that bill that would have blocked the EPA from using any of its remaining funds to regulate greenhouse gasses.
Upton has introduced stand-alone legislation in the Energy and Commerce Committee that would block any ongoing or future efforts by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gasses. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Ranking Member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has introduced companion legislation in the Senate, although it appears doubtful that Boxer, who chairs that committee, will bring it up for a vote.