Lawmaker Not Budging on Emissions Controls Despite Pelosi's Opposition
WASHINGTON -- The lawmaker whose bill would block California and other states from regulating tailpipe emissions is standing firm despite opposition from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Rick Boucher, who heads a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that is writing an energy plan, said Wednesday he believes it is important to have "unified regulations" for sources of carbon dioxide emissions.
Pelosi, D-Calif., said she cannot support legislation that would limit her state's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate them.
The two lawmakers spoke about the issue Tuesday night. Asked how the dispute might be resolved, Boucher said, "We'll see."
The bill by Boucher, D-Va., would prohibit the EPA from issuing a waiver a state would need to impose auto pollution standards if the new requirements are "designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
California has sought such a waiver for two years to put in place a state law that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, by 25 percent from cars and 18 percent from SUVs starting in 2009. At least 11 other states are ready to follow California's lead.
Boucher said he favors national regulation of greenhouse gases and his committee will start writing in separate legislation in the fall to achieve that. In the meantime, he said, letting California set its own standards would just create more "regulatory confusion" with little effect on solving global warming.
"I think it's important that with regard to CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions we have unified regulations for stationary sources and mobile sources," Boucher said.
In addition, he noted that there is no guarantee California will get the waiver it is seeking.
Boucher described the current energy legislation as an attempt to clear up confusion in the wake of a Supreme Court decision in April that said EPA has authority to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. Instead of giving EPA that job, Boucher's bill would for now leave it up to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set federal fuel economy standards.
The Democratic energy plan was set for a hearing Thursday and a committee vote next week.
Source: Associated Press