In the classic Shakespeare tragedy Julius Caesar, the titular Roman emperor meets his terrible fate with when the Roman Senate stabbed him 23 times. The Clean Air Act, and the EPA that enforces it, experienced a similar senatorial fate today, being blindsided by the Senate when Minority Leader McConnell unexpectedly attached an EPA-gutting bill to a separate small business bill being debated on the floor.
Unfortunately for the Clean Air Act, there were more than 23 knives out for it on that fateful day – 34 to be exact. Across the Hill, in a mostly party-line vote, the House Energy & Commerce Committee voted 34-19 for a bill identical to the Senate amendment – stripping the EPA’s ability to cut carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act.
The attacks on the Clean Air Act aren’t anything new – it has been a zombie bill that keeps rising from the dead every few months to threaten America’s clean air and continue the status quo of allowing carbon polluters to dump their carbon waste into the air for free.
The EPA is only doing what Congress told it to do when it passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. The Supreme Court ruled that carbon pollution was a pollutant that should be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Now Congress should let the EPA do its job, rather than trying to stab it in the back.