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Climate turns nasty on the hill as Republicans prepare to block green agenda

By Laura Brown - 09 Mar 2011 20:3:0 GMT
Climate turns nasty on the hill as Republicans prepare to block green agenda

Obama's green agenda could receive a fatal blow today (Thursday) with Republicans wielding the axe on the hill.

Republicans look set to remain true to their word when they head to Congress vote on a bill designed to curb the Environment Protection Agency's power to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

In an attempt to encourage the right to reform their ideas, Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Power subcommittee called a hearing this week putting forward the scientific argument for climate change.

Four scientists laid out the evidence of the impact on climate change on the environment, while Republicans put forward three experts to counter.

The full committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, told the hearing, ''Human-induced climate change is happening, we are already seeing its effects, and harm from climate change is growing''.

His criticism of sceptics was forceful and heartfelt, arguing they are putting the public's health at risk with the Energy Tax Prevention Act 2011.

The bill blocks the Environment Protection Agency from reducing greenhouse gas emissions from factories, along with reducing restrictions on car emissions from 2016.

The bill, introduced into both Houses last week is designed to strip the Obama administration its powers to tackle climate change. Republicans, backed by wealthy industrialists and activists opposed to the green agenda, expect the bill to pass in the House with a comfortable majority. Democrats have a narrow majority in the Senate, where it may struggle.

Sponsors of the bill argue against the scientific argument for climate change saying the EPA’s measures could risk harming the economy.

Ed Whitfield, the Republican from Kentucky who chairs the House Energy and water Subcommittee argued at the hearing, ''One need not be a sceptic of global warming to be a sceptic of EPA's regulatory agenda.''

''Even if one believes 'scary' global warming scenarios the agency's rules are not solution''.

He argued the EPA’s regulations would pose a disadvantage for domestic manufacturers, pushing business to countries like China who have no such regulations.