Yesterday I taped an upcoming TV debate criticizing the House Republican vote to defund the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court. My opponent in the debate, Fred Smith, argued that Obama’s EPA was a “rogue” agency hell-bent on killing jobs and harming small businesses. I reminded Mr. Smith that Obama’s EPA ordered that small businesses be exempt from the proposed greenhouse gas emission rules, as only large entities emitting at least 25,000 tons of CO2 per year would be subject to the regulations. Now, it is unclear whether the EPA can legally exclude such small emitters from the rules, as the Clean Air Act doesn’t expressly allow for it. But instead of working with the Administration on clarifying the law to ensure that we have a science-based approach to addressing climate change that goes after major corporate polluters while holding small businesses harmless, instead they are pursuing a cynical strategy to demonize public health protections and question the science. This is particularly appalling given the high-profile flip-flop of Rep. Fred Upton, who in the recent past acknowledged the science behind climate change and supported legislative efforts to address it – but now leads the effort to attack the science and demonize efforts to protect public health. Shame, Mr. Upton, Shame.
Tyson Slocum Directs Public Citizen’s Energy Program