By Ben Geman - 01/07/11 09:38 PM EST
The newly announced chairman of the House panel that crafts Environmental Protection Agency spending bills signaled Friday that he will seek to scale back the agency’s regulatory powers.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) is chairman of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee of the full Appropriations Committee. He was the ranking GOP member of the panel in the last Congress.
Simpson’s office, in a statement, said he will be “tasked with reducing spending levels that have grown out of control in recent years under Democrat control,” and that Simpson has his “eyes set on EPA” in particular.
“The EPA is the scariest agency in the federal government, an agency run amok,” Simpson said in a statement Friday.
“Its bloated budget has allowed it to drastically expand its regulatory authority in a way that is hurting our economy and pushing an unwelcomed government further into the lives of Idahoans. As Chairman of this subcommittee, I look forward to bringing some common sense to the EPA and some certainty for our nation’s job creators,” he added.
Funding restrictions on appropriations bills are one avenue that GOP lawmakers are eyeing to prevent implementation of EPA greenhouse gas rules.
Simpson’s statement Friday didn’t provide specifics, but the Idaho congressman has supported past efforts to scuttle EPA’s emissions regulations. Simpson also co-sponsored legislation this week that would strip EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases.