By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, December 23, 2016, US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) commented on 2016 and things to look forward to next year. According to Palmer, one of these things may be a more reasonable, more pragmatic, more industry friendly EPA. Palmer has been a consistent critic of the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Rep. Palmer wrote, “With the incoming Trump Administration, we have the opportunity to follow the Constitution in every aspect of government especially with Scott Pruitt at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has operated outside of its constitutional and statutory authority including the regulation of greenhouse gases. That is why I introduced HR3880, the Stopping EPA Overreach Act, to restore the balance of power in regards to environmental policy and make clear that the power to make laws belongs to Congress.”
Under President Barack Obama, the EPA has circumvented Congressional oversight by passing a long string of omnibus regulations affecting a whole host of industries. One of the most controversial of these regulations was the EPA’s efforts to regulate so-called green house gases. Palmer’s HR3880 would redefine greenhouse gases so they are outside the purview of the environmental agency.
The Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2015 bill amends the Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride pollution from the scope of that Act.
The bill declares that current law does not authorize or require the regulation of climate change or global warming and nullifies certain proposed rules relating to greenhouse gas and carbon pollution emissions.
Additionally, before proposing or finalizing regulations or policies, the Environmental Protection Agency must analyze the net and gross impact of those regulations and policies on employment. Regulations and policies may not take effect if they have a negative impact on employment, unless they are approved by Congress and signed by the President.
Rep. Palmer introduced HR3880 in November 2015, and there was no real action on the legislation after its introduction. With the coming Trump Administration, reforming the EPA may become a priority.
President-elect Donald Trump has appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to be the EPA Administrator, replacing Gina McCarthy who has pursued an environmental extremist agenda. Pruitt is a notorious critic of the EPA.