Clean Air Act Focus of Hearing

Clean Air Act Focus of Hearing

Subcommittee will vote on bill to stop EPA from regulating climate change.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from taking any regulatory action against climate change. During a hearing on the subject Wednesday, subcommittee chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., cautioned that whether one thinks the science tells us that global warming is a serious problem, a minor problem, or hardly a problem at all, the real question before this committee is whether EPA's regulations under the Clean Air Act are a wise solution to that problem. Whitfield said they clearly are not.

Professor Knute Nadelhoffer, Director of the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, Mich., told the subcommittee the climate is changing and the impacts are becoming clearer. The professor testifiedthat the United States has become both warmer and wetter over the past century.

"Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, in the atmosphere, resulting from fossil fuel combustion and other human activities, are the primary drivers of these recent changes in the climate system," Nadelhoffer said. "Stabilizing the climate, by limiting and eventually reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will help maintain these and other "ecosystem services," which together contribute to our quality of life and economy."

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