12 Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee Express Disappointment

WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning a dozen members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), sent a letter to Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA) detailing their concerns about a legislative discussion draft concerning greenhouse gas emissions to be discussed by the Subcommittee today.

The letter states that the members are “disappointed by the discussion draft,” saying that it would “lead the nation in the wrong direction.” They argue that the draft legislation, if enacted would overturn the recent Supreme Court decision Massachusetts v. EPA which ruled that the EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles to protect the public health and welfare. In addition they note that the discussion draft would block the efforts by 12 states to regulate and reduce global warming pollution from automobiles.

A copy of the letter is available at here.

“Honestly addressing our nation’s energy challenges and the impacts of global warming must be at the center of any effective, balanced legislation our committee passes this year. Unfortunately this discussion draft fails to respond to these twin challenges,” said Rep. Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “I hope the chairmen will seriously consider our objections and help us produce a bill that will address the serious threat of global warming and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil.”

The members’ letter, signed by Reps. Waxman, Markey, Eshoo, Engel, Capps, Allen, Schakowsky, Solis, Inslee, Weiner, Baldwin and Wynn, follows on the heels of a letter sent yesterday by the Attorneys General of fourteen states and the City of New York stating their opposition to the same legislative discussion draft. Tomorrow, the lead signatures on that letter, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and California Attorney General Jerry Brown, will appear before a hearing of the Select Committee and are expected to uphold their belief in their states’ right to cut emissions. They will be preceded by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason at the hearing.

June 7, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer (Markey)