House Republicans turn to gas price pitch in bid to block EPA climate rules

“As one small refiner testifying before the Committee on Energy and Commerce put it: ‘EPA’s proposed [greenhouse gas] regulations for both refinery expansions and existing facilities will likely have a devastating effect on… all of our nation’s fuels producers….  If small refiners are forced out of business, competition will suffer and American motorists, truckers and farmers will be increasingly reliant on foreign refiners to supply our nation’s gasoline and diesel fuel,’” the letter adds.

Democrats are working to counter the notion that blocking EPA climate rules – which the agency began phasing in early this year – will lower prices at the pump.

“The GOP has no plans to deal with energy costs in the short term, and no plans to reduce our oil dependence and fuel costs in the long term,” said an aide to a group of Democrats that are fighting the legislation.

However, two senior House Democrats – Reps. Nick RahallNick Joe RahallWe shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief Break the cycle of partisanship with infant, child health care programs Clinton mulls role in 2018 midterms MORE (W.Va.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.) – have also signed on as original co-sponsors of the bill to thwart EPA. The Energy and Power Subcommittee that Whitfield leads is slated to vote on the bill Thursday.

While the two GOP lawmakers have cited gasoline prices before, it has been in a broader context that alleges EPA rules will harm manufacturers and affect a range of consumer costs.

For instance they alleged EPA climate rules will make “gasoline, electricity, fertilizer, and groceries” costlier when floating a draft of the measure in early February.