Key Republican: End, don't mend, EPA's climate authority

Lawmakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee are also working closely with senators who have expressed support for efforts to limit EPA's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Whitfield said he has met with Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Cain withdraws from Fed consideration Cain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat MORE (R-Alaska) and Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerBottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease Lobbying World MORE (D-W.Va.), both of whom introduced bills on the issue in the last Congress.

Whitfield stressed the importance of developing legislation in the House that can pass the Senate. Asked by reporters if the effort is merely symbolic because President Obama is likely to veto any bill that blocks EPA's authority, Whitfield said a veto will bring the issue into the 2012 election spotlight.

"We're going to try to pass what we think is right out of the House. We're going to make every effort that we can do to get it through the Senate," he said. "And if the president vetoes it, then one thing that's going to do is elevate these issues for the 2012 presidential election."

Many of those issues will be addressed at the Energy subcommittee's first hearing, which will focus on "where we are today on energy," Whitfield said. The hearing, to be held in the second week of February, will focus on energy demand and the country's capacity to develop its domestic resources, Whitfield said.