Hoeven Cosponsors Amendment to Curb EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases and to Promote Domestic Energy Production

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Hoeven today voted to pass an amendment that will add a new section to the Clean Air Act making certain that it is up to Congress, rather than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to determine policy regarding greenhouse gases. The legislation, which Hoeven cosponsored, received 50 votes, a near majority of the Senate, but failed to garner the 60 votes needed to pass.

A competing bill sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) failed to muster support with only 12 votes. It would have delayed implementation of some of the EPA greenhouse gas regulations for two years, which would have prolonged uncertainty in energy markets.  

“A permanent measure like this is needed to provide the certainty that businesses need to make billion dollar investments in new energy projects,” Hoeven said. “This measure would encourage domestic energy development and just as importantly, promote the job growth that a robust energy sector can create.” 

Introduced by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as an amendment to the Small Business Reauthorization bill, the legislation is identical to a bill introduced earlier this year by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), which Hoeven also cosponsored. 

The legislation comes in response to the EPA’s intention to begin regulating carbon and other emissions under the Clean Air Act of 1970, which never contemplated regulating greenhouse gases. Regulation will cost the energy industry billions of dollars and impede job creation at a time when unemployment is lingering at nearly 9 percent and the American economy continues to flounder. 

“Farmers, electric utilities, and virtually everyone working in North Dakota’s energy industry is concerned about the EPA’s impending regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and the effect it will have on jobs and their local economies,” Hoeven said. “This amendment would have addressed precisely that concern by preventing a federal action that is freezing investment in the industry, hindering domestic energy production and impeding the creation of much needed jobs for Americans.”