This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) that would have permitted the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to continue regulating greenhouse gas emissions if the EPA administrator determined that such emissions posed a danger to public health. This amendment was offered to legislation prohibiting the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Polis urged support for his amendment: “It [the amendment] allows the Environmental Protection Agency to continue protecting the American people from the greatest public health and environmental challenge in global history, global climate change. The overwhelming scientific evidence suggests that greenhouse gases and carbon pollution, if left unchecked, pose a significant threat to public health. This is not a scientific conclusion that anybody in the investigative community desires or wants. It is an unfortunate reality. I simply want the administrator to have the ability to temporarily unlock the handcuffs on the bill if there is a significant threat to the public health.”
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) argued: “…This amendment would, in short, be an avenue for the EPA to move forward with back-door global warming regulations regardless of any relevant facts and circumventing the will of Congress and the public. EPA should not be authorized to move forward with back-door global warming regulations. I urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) added: “…I do want to underscore that greenhouse gases do not have a health impact. But in the odd event that someone were sprayed in the face with a greenhouse gas such as methane, the emergency powers exist…[for the EPA] to respond to the imminent and substantial endangerment of public health.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 168-238. Voting “yea” were 167 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 1 Republican. 238 Republicans and 19 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have permitted the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to continue regulating greenhouse gas emissions if the EPA administrator determined that such emissions posed a danger to public health.