Idaho lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and Boise are voicing concern over proposed new environmental regulations that could give more authority to the federal government.
2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson is joining others in Congress in an effort to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Simpson says in a news release, “Unelected bureaucrats at EPA should not be allowed to circumvent the legislative process or override the will of the American people. It’s clear that we need to take action." He's signing on to House Resolution 4572, which wouldn't let the EPA have any oversight on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. The resolution would also stop potential EPA regulations that could disqualify ethanol and biodiesel from renewable energy standards, which could impact producers of those fuels. "I’ve heard from farmers, ranchers, and employers all over the state who are deeply concerned about current efforts to push through sweeping environmental policy reforms without regard for the impact they are having on the economy and job creation," Simpson said.
Meanwhile in Boise, lawmakers are working on a memorial urging Congress to block a rewrite to the Clean Water Restoration Act that could broaden federal oversight from all navigable waters to all waters, including wetlands and intermittent streams. The memorial, backed by House Environment, Energy, and Technology Chairman Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, calls the potential rule change ambiguous. "Striking the term 'navigable waters/ would expand the federal government’s reach beyond that which was intended," the plan says. It also outlines potential negative outcomes. "The proposal would lead to increased litigation and uncertainty among public and private stakeholders, including homeowners, farmers, water districts and state and federal agencies." Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold introduced the change to water regulation last April, but has not moved forward with the plan since June.
Read Simpson's news release and the Idaho House's memorial.
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