The U.S. House of Representatives has passed Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. The same measure, introduced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as an amendment to the SBIR/STTR Reauthorizationbill, failed in the Senate by a tied vote. This legislation was designed primarily to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gasses.
As Americans for Tax Reform has previously reported, the last few years have seen the power of the EPA expand through a litany of invasive and economically disastrous rulings. In the words of Grover Norquist, President of ATR, “the EPA is citing the Clean Air Act as justification for its dubious agenda. Employing the Clean Air Act for objectives it was never intended to realize, the EPA has infringed on the legislative responsibilities of Congress.” The Upton-Inhofe proposal was specifically tailored to pre-empt Agency overreach by returning authority over the America’s climate policy to Congress. Constitutional issues aside, an unchecked EPA is expected to lose billions in revenue and kill hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide.
Congratulations are due to the Democrat members of both chambers who had enough sense to buck their party’s Big Green Government ideology. In the senate, only four Democrats voted for the McConnell amendment: Mary Landrieu, Joe Manchin, Ben Nelson, and Mark Pryor. Apparently seeking to return the favor, Susan Collins (R-Maine) went turncoat and deprived her party of a majority, sinking the initiative at 50-50. Then again, maybe Sen. Collins thinks that Maine has too many jobs, and that EPA interference is a convenient solution. You can ask her by calling (202) 224-2523.