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Environment

House Takes Aim At Environmental Rules

by Cheryl Hogue
December 23, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 51

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives took several actions this year in an attempt to curb Environmental Protection Agency regulatory power.

The House in August passed H.R. 1582, which would give the Department of Energy veto authority over EPA air pollution regulations that affect fossil-fuel power plants. This would include efforts to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The House also approved H.R. 367, which would require both the Senate and the House to approve EPA regulations that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more before they could take effect. The Senate, led by Democrats, is unlikely to take up these bills.

Another measure (H.R. 1422), which has not yet been taken up by the House but could be called up for a vote at any time, would change the makeup and operation of expert panels that advise EPA on scientific matters. It would implement a number of changes to EPA’s Science Advisory Board sought by a major trade association of the chemical industry, the American Chemistry Council. Critics of the bill include environmental activists and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Some former chairs of the EPA board question a number of the bill’s provisions.

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