9:15am

Fri February 3, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Whitfield Seeks Delay on Greenhouse Gas Rules

Three House Republicans, including Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield are trying something new when it comes to opposing the Obama Administration’s environmental regulations: they’re asking the White House to stop. Whitfield and two of his fellow Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget asking the director to delay upcoming rules regulating greenhouse gases. The OMB has been reviewing the draft rules for several months and they’re scheduled to be released soon.

The new rules are expected to require new and modified power plants to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide they emit.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the Environmental Protection Agency was able to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, if it determined the gases posed a risk to human health. The EPA reached that determination in 2009.

But Whitfield questions the validity of that study.

“The EPA, let me just tell you, they can determine anything they want to determine over there, and they can make any study come out any way they want to make it,” he said.

He says now is not the time for more regulations.

“I can tell you what. Our air is very clean right now,” he said. “Now that doesn’t mean it cannot be cleaner, sure. But when you have an economy that is struggling, when you have an unemployment rate that’s been above eight percent, 8.5 percent for two, three, four years, this is not the time to impose additional costs on industries.”

The EPA has said it doesn’t expect to finalize the rules this year.