Upton weighs plan of attack against EPA climate rules

Upton has called for repealing Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations outright using the Congressional Review Act. But in a Dec. 28 Wall Street Journal op-ed, he said another option is putting the rules on ice while legal challenges brought by industry groups and states work their way through the courts.

“The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright. If Democrats refuse to join Republicans in doing so, then they should at least join a sensible bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations until the courts complete their examination of the agency's endangerment finding and proposed rules,” he wrote.

The “endangerment finding” refers to EPA’s late 2009 conclusion that greenhouse gases are a threat to humans — the legal underpinning for EPA’s climate rules.

Asked Wednesday about which approach is in the offing, Upton replied, “it depends upon what precisely the regulations are.”

“We will keep you posted,” he added. “Don’t worry.”

EPA’s initial Clean Air Act permit rules for new or overhauled industrial plants with large greenhouse-gas emissions formally began taking effect this month on a case-by-case basis, and the agency plans to set national emissions standards for power plants and refineries specifically in 2012.