U.S. House refers legislation to terminate EPA to committee

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A bill that would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency has been introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives and passed to committee for consideration.

The legislation — officially House Resolution 861 — was introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., alongside fellow Republicans Steven Palazzo of Mississippi, Barry Loudermilk of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

The text of the bill has not yet been posted to the congressional website after being introduced to the House on Friday, though emails and social media posts made by the co-sponsors indicate that the EPA’s dissolution would give environmental oversight authority to the states. The change would, according to the representatives, stimulate small business growth.

Eliminating the EPA would also potentially elminate the Clean Power Plan, which is a program announced by President Barack Obama that seeks to decrease America’s carbon dioxide output by cutting fossil fuels and increasing renewables.

H.R. 861 is the latest federal move under the Trump Administration that would seek to limit or eliminate the EPA’s authority. Already, Trump’s appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA has been widely viewed as an effort to kill the agency from within, given Pruitt’s adversarial relationship with the EPA throughout his political career.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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