House Dem: Change title of EPA bill to 'Koch Brothers Appreciation Act'

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants to change the title of a bill that would permanently block Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations to the "Koch Brothers Appreciation Act," a reference to the billionaire brothers who are active in Republican politics. 

Connolly has submitted to the House Rules Committee a series of amendments that would change the title of the bill to everything from the "Middle Eastern Economic Development and Assistance Act" to the "Head in the Sand Act."

Others include the "Protecting Americans from Polar Bears Act” and the "Oil Producing Economy Capitulation Act.”

The amendments are a last-ditch effort by Connolly to criticize Republicans ahead of the upcoming floor debate Wednesday on the legislation, which was authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The Koch Brothers — who own a Kansas-based refining and chemicals company — are key backers of conservative advocacy groups and candidates. Casting GOP energy and climate policy as a sop to the Kochs, and the oil industry more broadly, is a pillar of political messaging efforts among liberal groups and some Democrats.

The bill is expected to easily pass the House, but Connolly’s amendments signal that Democrats plan to go down swinging.

The House Rules Committee will meet later this afternoon to determine which amendments will get a vote on the floor Wednesday.

The committee has posted 40 amendments to the bill on its website. Most of the amendments are from Democrats. You can see the amendments here.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, submitted an amendment calling on Congress to accept a finding by the EPA that “climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.”

He offered a similar amendment during committee consideration of the bill.

But there are also a handful of amendments from Republicans. For example, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) submitted amendments to ensure that the EPA doesn’t regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act or the Clean Water Act.

—Ben Geman contributed

This post was updated at 11:55 a.m.