Gary Palmer introduces bill to stop EPA overreach

Gary Palmer opinion

Recent controversial actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have caught the attention of freshman Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) and have prompted him to introduce new legislation to stop further overreach by the embattled agency.

A member of the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment and the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior, Palmer Tuesday introduced H.R. 3880, the Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2015, that would remove the EPA’s self-appointed ability to regulate so-called “greenhouse gasses.”

“The EPA makes a habit out of claiming more authority than it rightfully has, particularly under this Administration,” said Palmer in a news release in June.

Prior to Massachusetts v. EPA — a controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision which interpreted the Clean Air Act to allow regulations of common and necessary compounds that were not contemplated when the act was originally passed — the EPA had never regulated greenhouse gasses.

“The Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2015 will reassert that Congress never intended that the EPA would regulate greenhouse gasses,” Palmer explained. “The EPA has repeatedly claimed fighting climate change as justification for crafting onerous regulations that limit carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other compounds that are both essentially harmless and in fact required for life to flourish. This is done using statutes Congress never contemplated could be read to regulate such common and essential substances. This bill reasserts Congress’s authority by prohibiting the EPA from unilaterally continuing to cause severe economic damage by regulating greenhouse gases.”

In addition to amending the Clean Air Act, H.R. 3880 would also clarify that nothing — in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, or the Solid Waste Disposal Act  — authorizes or requires EPA regulation of climate change or global warming.

The bill also would require the EPA to provide an analysis of the impact on employment in the United States before proposing or finalizing any regulation, rule, or policy. And ultimately would require Congress and the President to sign-off on any proposal that will have a negative impact on employment.

The bill has 107 original co-sponsors.


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